The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Lam Chiu-ying, today (March 12) briefed reporters on the updated projection for the temperature trend in Hong Kong in the 21st century, as well as the work in the coming year.
"Taking into account various greenhouse gas emission scenarios and the effect of urbanisation in Hong Kong, we expect that by the end of this century, there will be a temperature increase of 3.0 Degrees Celsius for the low-end scenario, 6.8 Degrees Celsius for the high-end scenario, and 4.8 Degrees Celsius for the middle-of-the-road scenario," Mr Lam said. Here, middle-of-the-road signifies the average of computation results based on all combinations of emission scenarios as well as frozen and continued urbanisation.
In summer, the number of hot nights (minimum temperature at or above 28 Degrees Celsius) will increase. By the end of the century, the "middle-of-the-road" number of hot nights is 41 per year. The "high end" figure is 54. The corresponding figure at the end of the last century was 15.
Similarly, the number of very hot days (maximum temperature at or above 33 Degrees Celsius) will also increase. By the end of this century, the "middle-of-the-road" figure is 15 per year. The "high end" figure is 19. The corresponding figure at the end of the last century was 7.
Mr Lam said, "The average of all calculation results based on different scenarios shows that by 2030-2039, there will be less than one cold day a year, meaning that for some winters, there will not be any cold days at all." For the situation in which the high emission scenario is coupled with continued urbanisation, the time for this to occur will be advanced to 2020-2029. "We will all have the chance to witness the disappearance of winter in Hong Kong," Mr Lam said. He said that the future climate of Hong Kong would be one with "long summer, no winter". (Please refer to the Appendix for details)
In the coming year, Mr Lam said that the Observatory would focus on providing the best possible weather service in support of the Olympic Games. "These include the provision of weather observation information, weather forecast and warnings in respect of the equestrian competition venues in Hong Kong, the operation of a nowcasting system to support our Beijing counterparts in serving the Beijing Olympics, and providing a tailor-made weather information service to support Hong Kong's windsurfing team competing in Qingdao."
As for the weather in 2008, on the basis that the La Niña event will continue into the spring of 2008, the most likely number of tropical cyclones coming within 500 kilometres of Hong Kong this year is six to eight. The annual rainfall this year is expected to be near normal.
This year is the 125th anniversary of the Hong Kong Observatory. The Observatory plans to organise a special exhibition in the Hong Kong Museum of History, tentatively in July, to show the development history of the Observatory. The Observatory is also inviting past and present colleagues to contribute articles, to form a collection which will illustrate the evolution of the Hong Kong Observatory from a human angle.
To celebrate the World Meteorological Day which falls on March 23 every year, the Hong Kong Observatory will be open to the public this Saturday and Sunday (March 15 and 16).
Please visit the following web page for the full text of the speech of Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Lam Chiu-ying, at the meet-the-media session (http://www.weather.gov.hk/dhkovoice/speech20080312e.htm ).
Past and projected annual mean temperature anomaly for Hong Kong
Projections for average temperature, annual number of hot nights and annual number of very hot days in Hong Kong
Past and projected number of cold days in winter
Director of Hong Kong Observatory Mr Lam Chiu-ying (middle) briefed on the updated projection for the temperature trend in Hong Kong in the 21st century, and the work in 2008