And, this wild weather isn’t limited to Northeast
Asia. From floods to droughts to scorching heat
to freezing temperatures, the entire world has been experiencing a range of severe regional
weather extremes in recent years. Behind these distinct events, experts say.
is climate change. and it’s raising some serious questions.
For some answers, we are now joined live by our Hwang Ji-hye at Arirang’s news center. Ji-hye, the weather these days has been all
over the place. Conn-young, let me tell you. You’re not the
only who’s frustrated about the weather. Temperatures in some parts of Korea have been
getting close to the 40-degree Celsius mark,. as our Kim Hyun-bin reported earlier. and
hundreds of people have already been hospitalized for heatstroke. “It’s so humid these days that I get easily
irritated. The weather is really going back and forth.” “The weather is really weird these days. The
monsoon rain seems like it’ll never end, and it doesn’t even feel like monsoon rain when
it starts to pour and stops abruptly.” The Korea Meteorological Administration says.
that a subtropical high-pressure system is causing the scorching heat here in Korea.
as well as in neighboring countries like China and Japan.
As the high pressure expands,. it’s concentrating the heat in Korea’s southern regions, in central
and southern China. and on Japan’s Kyushu island. “The subtropical high-pressure system during
the summer season raises the air temperature to quite a high level — creating a condition
with high energy. This can turn into different kinds of extreme weather, like torrential
rain or sweltering heat.” Ji-hye, as we mentioned at the top of our
segment, the severe weather isn’t just confined to Northeast Asia.
It’s happening globally,. prompting concerns of climate change. Exactly.
Since the mid-2000s,. the frequency of record-breaking weather conditions like extreme heat waves
and severe droughts have risen sharply,. leading to a loss of lives and damage to property.
This is a burden to government coffers. as recovery from major natural disasters is hurting
the government’s fiscal soundness. For example,. the amount of money the Korean
government has doled out for natural disaster coverage. surged to 2 trillion won,. or roughly
1-point-8 billion U.S. dollars last year from 130 million dollars in 2008.
The British government, recognizing the threats coming from climate change in 2008, established
the Department of Energy and Climate Change. And other governments have expressed concerns
over the outbreak of new types of diseases. as well as rising inflationary pressure caused
by unstable prices of agricultural products. What about business? Isn’t climate change
a threat for companies’ production and investment activities? Yes.
Climate change raises the level of uncertainty for businesses,. which in turn results in
an increase in costs for production and sales. Many global companies that have in the past
largely ignored climate change are now recognizing it as a major threat,. and establishing countermeasures.
Industrial chemical giant, DuPont, for example,. has formed a unit exclusively to handle the
effects of climate change. and the CEO of the company also occupies the chief position
of the department. What’s interesting. is how Korean companies
are reacting to climate change. Most don’t view the matter a risk or an opportunity. “American and Japanese companies consider
climate change to be a major threat for their bottom lines and try to control it or to utilize
it as an opportunity. Climate change for them is a major variable for management. Korean
companies, on the other hand, seem to be very passive in their reaction to climate change.” What are some new fields that will get a boost
because of climate change? The Samsung Economic Research Institute says.
five major climate-related businesses have great potential to prosper. as the threats
from climate change grow. They include climate information services.
that provide weather forecasting for industrial activities,. natural disaster prevention equipment
businesses. that produce climate observation equipment,. financial risk management businesses
that provide insurance. and derivatives products related to climate and disease management.
and water processing companies that will work to counteract water shortages.
So the changes we’re experiencing, and the heat we’re enduring right now, serve as opportunities
for some companies. Bad news for Mother Nature. good news for
smart businesses. Sure. That was Hwang Ji-hye, reporting live
from the news center on how businesses are responding to the changing weather conditions