Observed Trends and Future Changes in the Intensity, Frequency, and Duration of Very Hot Weather in Hong Kong

Project: Research

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As global warming impacts continue to occur across the Earth owing to increased anthropogenic activities, the potential for the intensity of extreme weather will become more severe across the globe. Hot weather and related extremes have attracted global attention especially based on record-breaking high temperatures, with little consideration of the effect of humidity on heat perception. Heat perception carries immense economic, social and environmental implications and should therefore be included in very hot weather studies. Essentially, even if air temperature remains unchanged, we feel hotter (our perception of heat) when it is more humid. This is why humidity is such an important parameter of heat perception, especially in Hong Kong and along the humid South China coast during summer.This study aims to provide statistical and modeling evidence on observed trends and future projections of very hot weather in Hong Kong, as such studies can empower early detection of the disaster and provide opportunities for mitigation and adaptation. To make the projection, statistical downscaling techniques will be applied to state-of-the-art Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) outputs to acquire a daily maximum heat index. This will allow us to identify changes in decadal characteristics of very hot weather in this century in terms of frequency, duration, and intensity. Representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 will be used to evaluate how different scenarios would affect very hot weather.The heat index projection provided by this study would give a clearer assessment of hot-weather-related risk by overcoming the limitation highlighted. Hence, our study will find more applicability with a wider audience. For example, the heat index can be related to labor capacity, hospitalization rates, and electricity consumption to some extent. The long-term projection provided here would also be helpful for the labor sector, public health, and electricity policy planning


Project number9042558
Effective start/end date1/01/18 → …