Weather and climate extremes exert devastating influence on human society and ecosystem around the world. Recent observations show increase in frequency and intensity of climate extremes around the world including East Asia. In order to assess current status of the observed changes in weather and climate extremes and discuss possible mechanisms, this study provides an overview of recent analyses on such extremes over Korea and East Asia. It is found that the temperature extremes over the Korean Peninsula exhibit long-term warming trends with more frequent hot events and less frequent cold events, along with sizeable interannual and decadal variabilities. The comprehensive review on the previous literature further suggests that the weather and climate extremes over East Asia can be affected by several climate factors of external and internal origins. It has been assessed that greenhouse warming leads to increase in warm extremes and decrease in cold extremes over East Asia, but recent Arctic sea-ice melting and associated warming tends to bring cold snaps to East Asia during winter. Internal climate variability such as tropical intraseasonal oscillation and El Niño-Southern Oscillation can also exert considerable impacts on weather and climate extremes over Korea and East Asia. It is, however, noted that our current understanding is far behind to estimate the effect of these climate factors on local weather and climate extremes in a quantitative sense.
- Korea and East Asia
- Weather extremes
- climate extremes
- climate variability and change