Long-term change in surface air temperature over DPR Korea, 1918–2015

  • Kum-Chol Om
  • Guoyu RenEmail author
  • Sang-Il Jong
  • Shuanglin Li
  • Kang-Chol O
  • Chol-Ho Ryang
  • Panfeng Zhang
Original Paper


Land surface air temperature (SAT) change is one of the core issues in monitoring and assessing regional climate change. In this study, the characteristics of SAT change over DPR Korea for the period 1918–2015 were investigated using a high-quality historical dataset. Results show that the region-averaged annual mean SAT increased 0.21 °C/decade for the period 1918–2015 on the basis of data from four stations and 0.19 °C/decade for the period 1941–2015 as estimated based on data from nine stations. Before the 1970s, Pyongyang station in the central region experienced the largest warming trend. Linear trends of seasonal mean SAT during 1941–1970 were negative for all seasons in eastern coast and for summer and autumn in western coast and northern inland areas. Since 1971, however, the annual and seasonal mean SAT trends have shifted to positive values in all regions, with winter experiencing the most rapid warming. During the period of global warming slowdown since 1998 or 2000, no significant seasonal warming trend of wintertime was detectable, and this caused the smallest winter warming for the last 45 years. Other seasons also witnessed a generally weakened warming during 1971–2015 compared to that of 1971–2000. The results of the study will help in understanding regional climate change and in assessing the impacts of climate change on economic and natural ecosystems in the country.



We would like to thank the State Hydro-Meteorological Administration (SHMA) of PDRK for providing the observed monthly temperature data and the topographical map data of the study region. The first author shows his gratitude to many teachers and students in the School of Environmental Studies of China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, who gave their selfless helps to him during his stay in China. He also appreciates the help from his colleague Kum-Su Li from Kim Il Sung University.

Funding information

This work is supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (no. 2018YFA0605603).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kum-Chol Om
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guoyu Ren
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sang-Il Jong
    • 2
  • Shuanglin Li
    • 1
  • Kang-Chol O
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chol-Ho Ryang
    • 4
  • Panfeng Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental StudiesChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Meteorology, Faculty of Global Environmental ScienceKim Il Sung UniversityPyongyangDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Meteorology, Faculty of Agricultural ScienceWonsan Agriculture UniversityWonsanDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Meteorology, Faculty of Agricultural ScienceKyeungsang Agriculture CollegeSariwonDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea

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