Korea Faces More Heat Waves Due to Global Warming

  • By Kim Eun-gyeong

    August 10, 2021 10:39

    Korea faces more heat waves like the one that has held the country in its grip for the last couple of weeks, Korea Meteorological Administration said Monday.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at its 54th General Assembly that ended last week warned that the earth's temperature will rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next 20 years compared to pre-industrialization days.

    Intensifying global warming will lead to more frequent heat waves in Korea as well as torrential rainfall and flooding.

    In Korea, the average temperature over the last 30 years increased 0.3 degree Celsius compared to the previous three decades. The number of summer days increased by four, while winter days dwindled by a week.

    The KMA forecasts that continuing greenhouse gas emissions will lead to an average annual rise in temperature by 1.8 degrees by 2040, 3.3 degrees by 2060 and up to seven degrees by 2100. Even a drastic reduction in carbon emissions will still lead to a 2.6-degree rise in temperatures 80 years from now.

    The IPCC also warned that coastal water levels will rise quickly. Unless carbon emissions are reduced, global coastal water levels are expected to rise more than 1 m. Over the last 30 years, Korea's coastal waters have risen by 3.12 mm a year, and at the current pace of global warming, the levels could rise up to 73 cm by 2100 compared to 2006.

    If global greenhouse gas emission levels decrease, coastal water levels will still rise 51.3 cm, and if greenhouse gas emissions stop and the earth repairs itself by 39.9 cm.

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