Dynamic characteristics of monthly rainfall in the Korean Peninsula under climate change Academic Article uri icon


  • Global climate change is one of the most serious issues we are facing today. While its exact impacts on our water resources are hard to predict, there is a general consensus among scientists that it will result in more frequent and more severe hydrologic extremes (e. g. floods, droughts). Since rainfall is the primary input for hydrologic and water resource studies, assessment of the effects of climate change on rainfall is essential for devising proper short-term emergency measures as well as long-term management strategies. This is particularly the case for a region like the Korean Peninsula, which is susceptible to both floods (because of its mountainous terrain and frequent intense rainfalls during the short rainy season) and droughts (because of its smaller area, long non-rainy season, and lack of storage facilities). In view of this, an attempt is made in the present study to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on rainfall in the Korean Peninsula. More specifically, the dynamics of 'present rainfall' and 'future rainfall' at the Seoul meteorological station in the Han River basin are examined and compared; monthly scale is considered in both cases. As for 'present rainfall,' two different data sets are used: (1) observed rainfall for the period 1971-1999; and (2) rainfall for the period 1951-1999 obtained through downscaling of coarse-scale climate outputs produced by the Bjerknes Center for Climate Research-Bergen Climate Model Version 2 (BCCR-BCM2. 0) climate model with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emission Scenarios (IPCC SRES) 20th Century Climate in Coupled Models (20C3M) scenario. The 'future rainfall' (2000-2099) is obtained through downscaling of climate outputs projected by the BCCR-BCM2. 0 with the A2 emission scenario. For downscaling of coarse-scale climate outputs to basin-scale rainfall, a K-nearest neighbor (K-NN) technique is used. Examination of the nature of rainfall dynamics is made through application of four methods: autocorrelation function, phase space reconstruction, correlation dimension, and close returns plot. The results are somewhat mixed, depending upon the method, as to whether the rainfall dynamics are chaotic or stochastic; however, the dynamics of the future rainfall seem more on the chaotic side than on the stochastic side, and more so when compared to that of the present rainfall. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kyoung, M. S., Kim, H. S., Sivakumar, B., Singh, V. P., & Ahn, K. S.

citation count

  • 37

publication date

  • July 2010