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Residents of Japan’s big cities, and of Tokyo in particular, are well aware of the heat-island effect — especially now with the onset of summer.

The effect occurs because concrete and asphalt retain radiant energy, making the whole city a vast absorber and then emitter of convected heat, which creates powerful thermals that trigger sudden “guerrilla storms” — and renders the nights barely more agreeable than the stifling, claggy days. And if you think summers have been getting worse — you’re right.

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