It is difficult to argue that South Korea’s summer in 2018 has been an “average” one. Thermometers easily hit over 30oC and in August 1st, the temperature in Seoul rose up to
39.6 Celsius degrees, which is higher than the daytime temperature average in some deserts. The government usually declared heat wave warnings, when temperatures rose over 30oC. This heat wave warning was first given in the second of June and has continued until the twenty-fifth of August.
|[Picture of the hot sun in the summer. The temperature recorded on this day
during the afternoon was 39.3o C. Photo credit: Andrew Ji]
I interviewed my friend at school, Ethan Hur about the devastating weather. I asked him if this year’s weather was significantly different from the others and he had answered, “Definitely, I am worried that it might get more warm next year.” The heat wave was very difficult to be anyone’s favorite, and Ethan had stated that the weather ruined the outdoor activities including soccer, football, tennis, and even running. Other than Ethan, there are many people, including myself, who are worrying if the heat wave is a result of the global warming. Everyone has been badly affected by the heat wave, but students have experienced annoyance while studying, resting, and hanging out.
|[Interviewing my friend Ethan about the hot weather. Playing tennis during the summer
was very difficult due to the heat wave and even with enough water; it was hard to stay hydrated. Photo credit: Andrew Ji]
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics show that 1,043 cases of patients who are suffering from the heat wave were reported between May and the end of July, 10% of these patients had ended up being casualties. Compared to last year where when 646 cases were reported and five had died, the numbers multiplied. Although the members of the National Assembly stated that the elders and infants are most vulnerable to the heat wave, everyone could have been the target of it. Many Koreans believe that the deadly heat wave now has to be considered as a natural disaster in order to be prepared for it the next time.
South Koreans started to relieve from this extreme heat starting from the last week of August. However, another natural disaster was coming on its way: Typhoon Soulik. A typhoon is the exact same as a hurricane and the only difference between the two is the location of where each storm occurs in. The typhoon usually occurs in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and the hurricane occurs in the Atlantic and the Northeast Pacific.
Right after the heat wave, South Korea had yet another natural disaster to disturb its summer. Most schools in South Korea were canceled the day before the typhoon was expected to hit the peninsula. The South Korean government reported an injury of a man in his 30s and a teenager and a missing case of a 23-year-old woman who was swept away by the waves in Jeju Island. Not only the people were affected, but the power outages of about 20,000 were reported and more than 700 flights were canceled on August 23rd.
However, the typhoon was mainly focused on Jeju Island, located 292 kilometers south of Busan. Fortunately, the Soulik caused fewer casualties than the heat wave since there were no major reports of damages in Seoul and the metropolitan area, where about half of the nation’s people live.
Today, where the topic of global warming is becoming controversial, many people relate it to the unusual weather phenomenon. Although we cannot be entirely sure that this occurrence is the result of climate change, it is to be considered that the strange weather is an outcome of our actions of wasting and using too many resources.
Gyeonggi Suwon International School
Andrew Ji firstname.lastname@example.org
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