, Volume 66, Issue 1-2, pp 151-161

On Climate Variations and Changes Observed in South Korea

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Abstract

This study describes observations on possible climate changes occurring on the Korean Peninsula. We found that in large urban and industrial areas in Korea, there has been a significant increase in the annual mean temperatures according to data of the past 29 years. The increase in January temperatures was in the order of 0.8 ∼ 2.4 ° C. However, in rural and marine stations, the increase in annual mean temperature was 0.6 ° C; the level of the global average. There was also an increase in precipitation: 259 mm over the recent 97 years. Observation has revealed that a month-long steady rainfall in late June and July with a quasi-stationary polar front has not occurred in recent years and has been replaced with scattered convective heavy-showers on a local scale in July and August. It is observed that the behaviour of this rainy front, `the Changma front' has brought changes to rainfall characteristics. Our results highlight the importance of the shortened rainy season. However, the amount of rainfall and the number of heavy rainfall days have increased.