The fingerprint of climate change and urbanization in South Korea

Won Ho Nam, Guillermo A. Baigorria, Eun Mi Hong, Taegon Kim, Yong Sang Choi, Song Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Understanding long-term changes in precipitation and temperature patterns is important in the detection and characterization of climate change, as is understanding the implications of climate change when performing impact assessments. This study uses a statistically robust methodology to quantify long-, medium- and short-term changes for evaluating the degree to which climate change and urbanization have caused temporal changes in precipitation and temperature in South Korea. We sought to identify a fingerprint of changes in precipitation and temperature based on statistically significant differences at multiple-timescales. This study evaluates historical weather data during a 40-year period (1973-2012) and from 54 weather stations. Our results demonstrate that between 1993-2012, minimum and maximum temperature trends in the vicinity of urban and agricultural areas are significantly different from the two previous decades (1973-1992). The results for precipitation amounts show significant differences in urban areas. These results indicate that the climate in urbanized areas has been affected by both the heat island effect and global warming-caused climate change. The increase in the number of rainfall events in agricultural areas is highly significant, although the temporal trends for precipitation amounts showed no significant differences. Overall, the impacts of climate change and urbanization in South Korea have not been continuous over time and have been expressed locally and regionally in terms of precipitation and temperature changes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number273
Issue number7
StatePublished - 17 Jul 2018

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Climate change
  • Heat island effect
  • Precipitation
  • South Korea
  • Temperature
  • Urbanization


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