Long-term Relative Humidity Changes on High Temperature Days of Major Cities in Korea for the Recent 37 Years

최근 37년간 우리나라 주요도시의 고온일을 대상으로 한 상대습도의 경년변화

Park, Myung-Hee;Lee, Joon-Soo;Suh, Young-Sang;Han, In-Seng;Hae, Hyun-Gun;Kim, Hae-Dong

  • Received : 2013.05.28
  • Accepted : 2013.08.26
  • Published : 2013.12.31


The study selected 10 regions among major Korean cities. Then the study classified the yearly change of relative humidity of those regions for 37 years based on 1996 (from 1974 to 2011) aimed at high temperature days, and examined them by stage regarding daily maximum temperature. For large cities and small cities, in general relative humidity had been likely to increase at high temperatures of $30^{\circ}C$ or over before 1996, whereas it has decreased since 1996. For suburban areas, relative humidity had been prone to diminish before 1996, whereas it has been likely to either increase since 1996 or rarely some of the cities have not shown any change. The increasing tendency of relative humidity before 1996 in large cities and small cities is believed to be because of an increase of the latent heat of vaporization by the supply of steam from cooling towers established in downtown areas. Meanwhile, the decreasing tendency from 1996 is concluded to be caused by the change from counter-current circular cooling towers, which produce a great quantity of steam including arsenic acid, to cross-flow cooling towers, which produce hardly any steam containing arsenic acid. This change was in accordance with the modification and pursuit of an urban planning law that ordered cooling towers that had been installed on rooftops be installed in the basement of buildings in consideration of a "Green network creation" project by the Ministry of Environment, urban beautification, concerns since 1996 over building collapses, and according to an argument that steam containing arsenic acid could be harmful to human health owing to chemicals contained in the water in the cooling tower in summer.


High temperature days;Relative humidity


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