Climate Dynamics

, Volume 45, Issue 5–6, pp 1699–1712 | Cite as

Recent recovery of surface wind speed after decadal decrease: a focus on South Korea

  • JongChun Kim
  • Kyungrock PaikEmail author


We investigate the multi-decadal variability of observed surface wind speed around South Korea. It is found that surface wind speed exhibits decreasing trend from mid-1950s until 2003, which is similar with the trends reported for other parts of the world. However, the decreasing trend ceases and becomes unclear since then. It is revealed that decreasing wind speed until 2003 is strongly associated with the decreasing trend of the spatial variance in both atmospheric pressure and air temperature across the East Asia for the same period. On the contrary, break of decreasing trend in surface wind speed since 2003 is associated with increasing spatial variance in surface temperature over the East Asia. Ground observation shows that surface wind speed and air temperature exhibit highly negative correlations for both summer and winter prior to 2003. However, since 2003, the correlations differ between seasons. We suggest that mechanisms behind the recent wind speed trend are different between summer and winter. This is on the basis of an interesting finding that air temperature has decreased while surface temperature has increased during winter months since 2003. We hypothesize that such contrasting temperature trends indicate more frequent movement of external cold air mass into the region since 2003. We also hypothesize that increasing summer wind speed is driven by intrusion of warm air mass into the region which is witnessed via increasing spatial variance in surface temperature across East Asia and the fact that both air and surface temperature rise together.


Wind speed Climate change Temporal trends Interannual variability Stilling 



This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (Grant Number 2012R1A2A2A01015355). Ground-observed dataset used in this study are from the website of the Korean Meteorological Administration ( MODIS data is from the website: and we retrieved ERA-40 products from the website of the Asia-Pacific data-research center of the International Pacific Research Center ( We thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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