HK winters may vanish in 50 yrs


  • World
  • Friday, 08 Jun 2007

By Madeline Chambers and Gernot Heller

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's winters could vanish within 50 years, with the number of cold days declining virtually to zero due to global warming and urbanisation, the head of the city's weather observatory warned on Friday. 

"According to our projections, toward the end of this century ... there will be less than one cold day each winter, so winter practically will have disappeared," said Lam Chiu-ying, director of the Hong Kong observatory. 

Cold days are defined as those with temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius at some point during the day. 

Despite its sweltering summers, the former British colony enjoys a sub-tropical climate, with cool winter temperatures and hoar frost sometimes found on its highest peak of Tai Mo Shan. 

Between 1961 and 1990, there was an average of 21 cold days every winter but this figure had already halved by 2000, Lam said. 

Over the past century, temperatures in Hong Kong rose around 1.2 degrees, almost double the global average, said Lam, who warned that the city's winters might actually vanish half a century earlier if Hong Kong's rapid urbanisation trends were taken into account. 

"We would really start losing the very distinct seasonal march throughout the year ... We would really look more tropical than we (are) now," Lam told reporters. 

The number of summer "hot-nights" in Hong Kong, with temperatures above 28 degrees Celsius, has already jumped to 30 a year -- an almost four-fold increase from the 1990s, said Lam, as heat trapped during the day by the concrete city and its teeming skyscrapers is unable to dissipate fully at night. 

Lam attributed Hong Kong's forecast temperature rise of three to four degrees by the end of the century to urbanisation and global warming in equal measure. 

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In World

SOS call to local paper saves 81 Rohingya at sea, but no country says welcome
Britain has condemned Khasoggi murder, PM Johnson says
It's not vaccine diplomacy but global public service, says China of its aid to countries
North Korea measures to stem COVID-19 worsen abuses, hunger - U.N. expert
EU's Michel says EU united and firm over Russia sanctions related to Navalny
Labour rights issue at forefront of Spain’s gig economy with potential regulation
Hungary's ruling Fidesz leaves largest EU parliamentary group
Musk floats ‘Starbase’ name change for Texas launch town
Ethiopia frees workers with foreign media detained in Tigray, official says
Elephants or avocados: a Kenyan dilemma

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers