While it has been a hot summer here in Minnesota, we haven't been the only ones sweating it out.

In Tokyo, the temperatures have gotten up in the 40's. That's in Celsius, not Fahrenheit, remember. 40 degrees Celsius is equivalent to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

In order to cool down, the city is turning to its past, more specifically a practice known as uchimizu, where water is sprinkled on the ground in order to decrease the air temperature above. In a test site outside Japan's parliament building, a modern version of this is being tried out on 350 meters of road.

Water that has leaked into the subway system is pumped up and sprayed onto the surface of the road. The road is coated with a water-retentive coating, and the evaporation of the water is responsible for the cooling efffect. On the test site, air temperature above the road has been reduced by one degree Celsius.

While the worldwide average temperature has increase by one degree over the past 100 years, the average temperature in Tokyo has increased by three degrees. While that may not sound so bad, that means that Tokyo's getting hotter three times faster than the world.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 08/14/2005 - 3:20pm

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