Korea, Republic of

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Korea, Republic of.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Korea, Republic of's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications in the map below use observed, historical data (sourced from the Climate Research Unit [CRU]) and are derived by applying the Köppen-Geiger climate classification methodology. This classification divides climate into five primary climate groups, which are divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five primary groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates, except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter). It is important to understand the different climate contexts that exist within a country as well as the surrounding region when analyzing current climates and projected change. Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Korea, Republic of's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, 1991-2020
  • Af
  • Am
  • As/Aw
  • BWh
  • BWk
  • BSh
  • BSk
  • Csa
  • Csb
  • Csc
  • Cwa
  • Cwb
  • Cwc
  • Cfa
  • Cfb
  • Cfc
  • Dsa
  • Dsb
  • Dsc
  • Dsd
  • Dwa
  • Dwb
  • Dwc
  • Dwd
  • Dfa
  • Dfb
  • Dfc
  • Dfd
  • ET
  • EF

The Republic of Korea (ROK) shares the Yellow Sea with the People's Republic of China to the west, and the East Sea and Korean Straits with Japan to the east and south, respectively. The ROK’s topography features a general slope to the Yellow Sea from the mountain ranges in the east of the country. The degree of slope gradually decreases approaching the Yellow Sea while the slope to the East Sea is steep, leading to the development and distribution of mountain and plain areas and the distinct flow of rivers. The ROK's land area is 100,364km2 covering 45% of the entire Korean peninsula. The average altitude above sea level is 482 m and the highlands above 1,000m are mostly located in the northern region of the peninsula, whereas the southern region consists of mountains of 500 m or less. ROK’s population was over 52 million as of 2020. Exports and the manufacturing sector play a significant role in the national economy. 

This is about 0.7% of the world's population and is the 27th largest country in terms of population. The ROK’s population density is about 515 people/km2, ranking behind only Bangladesh and Taiwan, excluding city-states and small countries. 

The impact of climate change in ROK is detected in a wide range of sectors including weather, ecology, environment, and water resources and regionally occurring in a different pattern. To reduce the impact of climate change, the ROK is making efforts first of all for preventive management.