Is it hot in here or is it just me?

No, it’s definitely hot! Even the Japanese Meteorological Agency agrees with me! And according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency, or JMA, while the daytime temperatures might be coming down a little bit, the nighttime temperatures at the Tokyo meteorological observatory are hovering around 27.5 degrees Celsius (81.5 degrees Fahrenheit).

In fact, the temperatures stayed high every night for the eight days leading up to July 14, when the report was released. This number might sound high, and it is, representing a 4.4 increase since record-keeping was first started in 1931.

Not only is it miserable and drastically increases chances of heat stroke while sleeping, there’s even a special word in Japanese for these nights when the temperature stays over 25 degrees Celsius: nettaiya, or sweltering night. So, when you walk into work tomorrow morning looking exhausted, you can just tell your co-workers that the nettaiya kept you up.

In the first 20 years of record keeping, the sweltering nights averaged to about 7.55 a year in Tokyo. On the other hand, the last two decades, from 1992 to 2012, have seen an average of 31.9 sweltering nights per years. And, in case you can’t believe your mental calculations, yes, that’s 4.4 times as many of these miserable nettaiya per year.

Anyone tossing and sweating in bed is probably wondering why they’re so miserable right now, and the answer seems to be, according to the JMA, global warming and the effect of urban heat islands. In case you’re not familiar with the term, urban heat islands work something like this: Tokyo has a lot of buildings and concrete, obviously. During the day, those buildings and concrete absorb the heat and hold it in to a much greater degree than plants or just regular dirt would. At night, when other areas would normally be cooling off, the high temperature of the buildings and concrete keeps the temperature of the city up as well. Thus we get endless nettaiya.

And if you think it’s just a matter of being uncomfortable, think again. Already, two elderly men have reportedly died in their sleep due to heat stroke. As the JMA has pointed out, “In comparison to the measures taken in the daytime, people tend to be very negligent when it comes to the heat at night.” The agency asked people to use air conditioners as necessary.

They don’t have to tell us twice! I’m already sucking down a few million liters of water a day, desperately trying to stay cool.

Source: Sankei News