Climate Change Spells Hot Year for Korea

      December 29, 2009 12:46

      A boat on the half-frozen Han River on Monday afternoon

      Korea has apparently not escaped the impact of global climate change. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) on Monday said this year was the fifth hottest since statistics started in 1912, with an average temperature of 14.02 degrees Celsius from Jan. 1 to Dec. 27. The weather forecaster said it surveyed yearly average temperatures from 1912 to 2009 of six cities across the country -- Busan, Daegu, Gangneung, Inchdon, Mokpo and Seoul.

      The all-time high was 14.5 degrees in 1998, followed by 14.4 degrees in 1994, 14.2 degrees in 2007 and 14.03 degrees in 2004.

      This year's average temperature for the entire world was also the fifth highest since 1850 at 14.44 degrees, and 2009 was the hottest year in history in most parts of South Asia and Central Africa.

      The KMA said the country saw a relatively cool summer this year as it was hit by fewer heat waves and tropical nights than usual but experienced a shorter winter and a longer spring, recording a higher annual average temperature. Unseasonally warm weather in spring and fall also contributed to the high average.

      Korea also saw frequent unusual weather, being hit by no typhoons for the first time in 21 years. Instead, torrential rains frequently pounded many parts of the nation. On July 16, Masan was drenched in 102 mm of rain in one hour.

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