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Youngsin Chun, Hi-Ku Cho, Hyo-Sang Chung, and Meehye Lee

The observation of dust events in Korea must have been important through its long history because of its geographical and meteorological setting. Descriptions about dust events were well documented in historical archives, such as Samguk sagi (57 BC–AD 938), Goryeo sa (918–1392), Joseon wangjosillok (1392–1853), and Munhuenbigo (~1776). In this study, records of Asian dust events were compiled from the above historical archives, covering the period of the second to the eighteenth century. These historical records were investigated along with the recent data (1915–2005) of dust event days in Seoul, Korea. The first record was made in AD 174 in Silla during the period of the Three Kingdoms. A dust event, now called hwangsa, was commonly written down as Woo-Tou or Tou-Woo standing for “dustfall” in the historical archives. Asian dust events took place most frequently during spring from March to May and there was almost no occurrence in summer. The main seasonal feature of the historical dust events was found to be in good agreement with that of the last 90 yr. The result suggests that the past seasonal mechanism of the dust event occurrence and transport in northeast Asia is not significantly different from the present.

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Se-Hwan Yang, Nam-Young Kang, James B. Elsner, and Youngsin Chun


The climate of 2015 was characterized by a strong El Niño, global warmth, and record-setting tropical cyclone (TC) intensity for western North Pacific typhoons. In this study, the highest TC intensity in 32 years (1984–2015) is shown to be a consequence of above normal TC activity—following natural internal variation—and greater efficiency of intensity. The efficiency of intensity (EINT) is termed the “blasting” effect and refers to typhoon intensification at the expense of occurrence. Statistical models show that the EINT is mostly due to the anomalous warmth in the environment indicated by global mean sea surface temperature. In comparison, the EINT due to El Niño is negligible. This implies that the record-setting intensity of 2015 might not have occurred without environmental warming and suggests that a year with even greater TC intensity is possible in the near future when above normal activity coincides with another record EINT due to continued multidecadal warming.

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