it’s gettin’ hot in hurrr

March 6, 2007

Nothing like this in the winter of aught seven:



I recalled hearing stories about a frozen Han River, but during the course of this winter, I couldn’t believe anything was ever really possible. Now I know why. I’ve just lived through a veritable freak of nature.

Some news from the local weather front:

South Korea had the warmest winter in more than a century due to global warming and the El Nino weather system, officials said Monday.

The country’s average temperature during the three-month winter season to February was 2.46 degrees Celsius (36.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the highest since such records began in 1904, they said.

The average winter temperature between 1971 and 2000 was 0.43 degrees Celsius, according to officials at the Korea Meteorological Administration.

It attributed the unusually mild winter to “global warming and the influence of El Nino,” which refers to the abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific.

The administration said the February average was 4.09 degrees Celsius, 3.34 degrees higher than the average between 1971 and 2000.

And in Tokyo:

TOKYO – No snow has fallen in downtown Tokyo since the beginning of winter — the first time the Japanese capital has gone this late in the season without snow in at least 130 years, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Sunday.

On average, Tokyo’s first snow comes on January 2 and the last snow on March 11, said Tsutomu Shinya, an official of the agency. Winter begins in early November.

But on Sunday the still snowless city passed the milestone for the latest first snow, set on Feb. 10, 1960, Shinya said, adding that the city has never experienced a winter completely without snow, according to records that began in 1876.

I’ve not met a single global-warming skeptic in my time here. That goes double true for the taxi-drivers, with whom a discussion about the weather is, of course, mandatory.

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