A Temporal Multiscale Analysis of the Waters off the East Coast of South Korea over the Past Four Decades

Abstract

We address the trends in water temperature variability to understand the local global warming effects through different time scales using daily sea surface temperature (SST) measurements from 1966 - 2004. The abrupt SST changes off of the east coast of Korea are related to similar changes observed in the North Pacific. Seasonal water temperatures have increased by at least a factor of two or more in winter than in summer. While SSTs on annual timescales have increased significantly, SSTs on interannual timescales have decreased slightly at all stations. The anomalies in SST decadal time scales reveal maxima in temperature occurring in the mid-to-late 1970's, circa 1990 and circa 2000. These maxima coincide with major peaks in the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) with a lag of 4 - 7 months. The most significant warming appears in the long-term SST trends at each station where it approaches +0.05°C yr-1. Overall, the SST off the east coast of Korea has increased at rates that are far greater than what is reported in many other marginal seas.

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