Visibility Variations in Korea in the 1980s and 1990s

1980년대와 1990년대 우리나라의 시정 변화

  • 김영성 (한국과학기술연구원 지질환경연구센터) ;
  • 이시혜 (이화여자대학교 환경학과) ;
  • 김진영 (한국과학기술연구원 지질환경연구센터) ;
  • 문길주 (한국과학기술연구원 지질환경연구센터) ;
  • 김용표 (이화여자대학교 환경학과)
  • Published : 2002.12.01


During the past two decades, primary pollutants in the ambient air have been substantially reduced in Korea by aggressive government efforts such as the switchover to clean fuels and equipment of automobiles with a three-way catalytic converter. However, visibility impairment in Seoul and major metropolitan areas has been a stubborn problem. It is apparent that both directly emitted fine particles mainly from vehicles and secondary fine particles from photochemical reactions could contribute to this visibility impairment. In addition, Korea is located downwind of the prevailing westerlies from China and is influenced by the emissions of air pollutants in China. In order to assess this complicated problem of visibility impairment, the visibility trends for the past 17 years observed at more than 60 stations throughout the country were analyzed. The results showed that visibilities were generally the lowest in the winter morning in comparison with those in the summer afternoon as well as the annual average values. It was believed that primary pollution was principally responsible for visibility impairment in most areas. The visibility in the summer afternoon was lower in clean coastal areas along with a high level of relative humidity due to the inflow of moist air accompanied by sea breeze. Although contributions of secondary particles from photochemical reactions and long-range transport of fine particles to the visibility impairment were probable, their certain evidences were not found.


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