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Catastrophic degradation related to local heating in GaAlAs visible lasers occasionally occurs under relatively low optical output power. To develop highly reliable lasers, we used laser Raman spectroscope with an argon ion laser focused at about 1 μm≂ to evaluate the local operating temperature rise not only at the facet surface, but also along the striped active region. The local operating temperature rise in the vicinity of the facet’s active region increased exponentially up to 200 °C when the optical output power was 30 mW/facet. This high temperature causes the rapid formation of a dark region and final catastrophic degradation. The calculated temperature rise along the striped active region is about one‐half of that of the facet. The internal operating temperature is far higher than the average temperature measured by the thermal resistance method, which is considered to be a large influence on the lifetime and activation energy of lasers in practical applications.