Seas Around Korea Warming at Alarming Rate

  • By Lee Ki-hun

    August 13, 2018 12:57

    Warming oceans are making the sultry weather hotter as climate change brings profound changes to the environment.

    Measurements in July show that sea surface temperatures surrounding the Korean Peninsula have been rising 0.34 degrees Celsius on average per year since 2010, the Korea Meteorological Administration said last Thursday. That is about 2.4 times higher than the annual average 0.14-degree increase between 1997 and this year.

    The West Sea, which is relatively shallow, is warming fast. The average temperature in the West Sea for July rose 0.54 degrees from 2010 to 2018, much higher than in the other seas. The average temperature for August rose 0.45 degrees from 2010 to 2017.

    /Newsis

    Satellites are observing similar developments. The average temperature for July between 2016 and 2018 observed by satellites of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that areas of high temperatures above 25 degrees around the Korean Peninsula are spreading northward.

    If this trend continues, heat waves will get worse. "Heat waves warm the oceans, which take more time to cool off than land, but that in turn causes the heat on land to persist longer," the weatherman said.

    This could cause severe changes including reducing habitats for cold-water fish and mass deaths at fish farms.

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