This summer's deadly heat wave has been labeled as unprecedented, but official climate forecasts and experts are warning that the recent rise in temperatures is likely to become the new normal in the years ahead.

"Generally speaking, it's predicted that the kind of heat we have now will increase as climate change advances," said Masako Konishi, a meteorologist and deputy director of conservation at WWF Japan. "While we can't say the current heat wave itself is a sign of the direct effects of climate change, at the very least we can say that we'll see more of this kind of climate in the future.

"What's most frightening is that what we once had no experience with is gradually becoming the daily norm," Konishi noted.