S.Korea 'to Turn Subtropical This Century'

      September 07, 2009 09:12

      The climate in Seoul could turn into subtropical like that of Jeju or California within this century. The Climate Change Information Center of the Korea Meteorological Administration on Sunday said if global warming continues at the current pace, most of South Korea will turn into subtropics between 2071 and 2100 and temperatures will rise by four more degrees Celsius.

      The subtropics are regions where the monthly average temperature is over 10 degrees Celsius for more than eight months a year.

      The CCIC published a climate change scenario for the years until 2100 based on the average temperatures observed from 1971 to 2000.

      According to this scenario, all areas except inland regions near Mts. Taebaek and Sobaek will likely turn into subtropics within the current century. Winters will be shorter and summers longer, and the ecosystem will change rapidly. The south coast and Jeju already have a subtropical climate.

      The CCIC warned that global warming will bring stronger "super hurricanes" to the Korean Peninsula more frequently. A super hurricane is a massive storm that brings winds with a speed of more than 70 m per second and more than 1,000 mm of torrential rains per day.

      CCIC chief Park Kwan-young said, "We must respond to climate change now, because the ecosystem could be destroyed due to rising temperatures, and increased moisture in atmosphere could result in frequent heavy downpours."

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