World Temperature rose steeply this year

Temperatures on land and ocean surfaces climbed an average of 0.36 degree around the globe this year, logging the second-sharpest rise since comparable data started being tracked in 1891, the Meteorological Agency said in a preliminary report.

The sharpest rise, 0.37 degree as measured against the average between 1971 and 2000, was set in 1998.

The global land temperature rose 0.68 degree, its most ever. In Japan, however, it climbed 0.85 higher than the 30-year average, tying for the fourth-biggest increase since 1898.

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5 major Japanese firms launch coalition to combat global warming

Five major Japanese companies said Thursday they have jointly launched an organization to fight global warming by creating a sustainable low carbon society.

Aeon Co., the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Fujitsu Ltd., Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. and Ricoh Co. have founded the Japan Climate Leader’s Partnership, or Japan-CLP, which they said supports the idea of halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The launching of the joint body, unique among Japanese businesses, comes ahead of a key UN climate change conference to be held in Copenhagen in December aimed at creating a global framework to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on fighting global warming.

“We have founded Japan-CLP to urge the industrial community to develop a sound sense of urgency on the issue of climate change and to initiate more proactive actions, “the five companies said, adding Japan-CLP will provide support for “helping emissions to peak out at the earliest possible stage.”

“The transformation to a sustainable low-carbon society will also open up new business opportunities driven by appropriate policies and frameworks, and the proactive engagement of corporations,” they said in a statement.