SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Prices of agricultural products have skyrocketed following 54 days of disastrous summer weather that brought severe monsoon rains as well as five typhoons across the Korean peninsula.
Experts argue that this is just the beginning, warning that an unprecedented scale of climate change will sweep across South Korea.
Hot air caused by global warming will bring more frequent, extreme cases of showers and precipitation, since warmer air can store large amounts of water.
If greenhouse gas emissions remain at current levels, a number of dams and levees across the country will experience flooding once every four years by 2050.
Extreme cold will come about more frequently since global warming will undermine the jet stream that blocks Antarctica’s chilly air from entering the Korean peninsula.
In the winter, the air from the Northern Pacific carrying water vapor is more likely to run into the cold air from Antarctica and Siberia, which may result in snowstorms.
Prof. Kim Baek-min from Pukyong National University argues that the Korean peninsula is warming up 1.5 to 2 times faster than the average speed of global warming, primarily due to the warm Kuroshio current.
The speed of global warming differs by region, depending on the water temperature of the surrounding sea. Regions with warmer seas will experience faster global warming.
The sea that surrounds the Korean peninsula is part of the Tropical Warm Pool, the hottest waters on earth, which continues to expand due to global warming.
Higher sea temperatures generate more water vapor, which warms up the atmosphere and amplifies the greenhouse effect.
As such, if global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, the Korean peninsula may experience hotter temperatures.
Typhoons that strike the Korean peninsula are expected to grow more powerful as they depend on warmer seas and water vapor.
“There is a close correlation between global warming and typhoons,” said Prof. An Soon-il from Yonsei University. “Typhoons draw energy from the sea. The sea’s higher surface temperature will create stronger and lasting typhoons.”
“Climate change will come to us not as the temperature we feel with our skin, but as extreme weather conditions,” An added.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)