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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 9164265, 19 pages
Research Article

Future Changes in Drought Characteristics under Extreme Climate Change over South Korea

1Department of Civil Engineering, Joongbu University, Daeja-dong, Deogyang-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10279, Republic of Korea
2Department of Civil Engineering, Chonbuk National University, 567 Baekje-daero, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do 54896, Republic of Korea
3Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Hanyang University, 55 Hanyangdaehak-ro, Sangnok-gu, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do 15588, Republic of Korea

Received 1 February 2016; Accepted 23 June 2016

Academic Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez

Copyright © 2016 Joo-Heon Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study attempts to analyze several drought features in South Korea from various perspectives using a three-month standard precipitation index. In particular, this study aims to evaluate changes in spatial distribution in terms of frequency and severity of droughts in the future due to climate change, using IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) GCM (general circulation model) simulations. First, the Mann-Kendall method was adopted to identify drought trends at the five major watersheds. The simulated temporal evolution of SPI (standardized precipitation index) during the winter showed significant drying trends in most parts of the watersheds, while the simulated SPI during the spring showed a somewhat different feature in the GCMs. Second, this study explored the low-frequency patterns associated with drought by comparing global wavelet power, with significance test. Future spectra decreased in the fractional variance attributed to a reduction in the interannual band from 2 to 8 years. Finally, the changes in the frequency and the severity under climate change were evaluated through the drought spell analyses. Overall features of drought conditions in the future showed a tendency to increase (about 6%) in frequency and severity of droughts during the dry season (i.e., from October to May) under climate change.