Korean summers now last over a month longer than they did 100 years ago as climate change accelerates, while winters have become shorter.
Despite the world’s best efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, southern parts of the country are expected to turn subtropical by 2050, with the average monthly temperature over 10 degrees Celsius for more than eight months a year, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
Summers in Seoul have become a whopping 37 days longer over the past century -- from 94 days in the 1910s to 131 days in the 2010s.
A student enjoys a water balloon game during a festival at Sejong University in Seoul on Tuesday.
Summers now start around May 21 as opposed to June 10 a century ago, and end around Sept. 29 instead of Sept. 12.
Spring has shortened apace from 73 to 68 days, autumn from 66 to 54, and winter from 132 to 112.
In southerly Busan, summers are 32 days longer, and the picture is much the same across the nation.
"The average annual temperature will rise by another 1.4 degrees by 2050 and 1.7 degrees by 2100 even if Korea starts right now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change," the KMA said. "Climate change caused by global warming is inevitable."
Indices of extreme hot temperatures like heat waves and tropical nights will go up in the future but cold temperature extremes will go down.
That will allow more farmers to harvest rice twice a year or grow subtropical crops like mangoes, okras and artichokes, but new crop varieties resistant to subtropical diseases and pests need to be developed, the KMA said.
But on the downside habitats for cold-water fish like halibut, herring, pollack and cod will dwindle, while warm-water fish like hairtail, anchovies and Spanish mackerel will be abundant.
In the worst-case scenario, the average yearly temperature will rise by 3.2 degrees by 2050, but that assumes that the world does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.