Climate change could leave Korea with 'super hurricanes' and no winter

September 6, 2009 9:57 pm 

SEOUL, Sept. 7 — Korea may experience a massive shift in weather patterns that would replace its frigid winters with heavy tropical rains and "super hurricanes," a state weather agency said Sunday.

The Climate Change Information Center (CCIC) said most of South Korea could be categorized as a subtropical region by the end of the century if global warming continues along its current course.

The forecast, based on a study of the country's climate changes from 1971 to 2000, partly confirms general beliefs that Korea's winters have increasingly become shorter while summers have gotten noticeably longer.

"This means most of our major cities — Seoul, Suwon, Daejeon, Gwangju, Daegu and Ulsan — will no longer experience sub-zero temperatures by the end of the 21st century," said Park Gwan-young, head of the CCIC.

Park also said that between the 1920s and the 1990s, winters have become shorter by an average of 30 days and summers have become longer by about 20 days.

A permanent change in the country's climate could also leave Korea more susceptible to what he called "super hurricanes" with wind speeds of over 70m per second and bringing over 1,000mm of torrential rain. (PNA/Yonhap)



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