Temperature change and urbanisation in a multi-nucleated megacity: China’s Pearl River Delta

Nichol, Janet E, Choi, Sin Yau, Wong, Man Sing and Abbas, Sawaid (2020) Temperature change and urbanisation in a multi-nucleated megacity: China’s Pearl River Delta. Urban Climate, 31. a100592. ISSN 2212-0955

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This paper investigates urbanisation and temperature indices, over four decades in a multi-nucleated megacity, China’s Pearl River Delta (PRD). Daily mean minimum, maximum and mean temperatures (Tmin, Tmax and Tmean) have increased considerably above background warming rates. However, only weak to moderate relationships are observed between trends in local urban surface area surrounding climatic stations, and Tmin used as a proxy for UHI development. While 5 out of 21 stations with high increase in both Tmin and degree of urbanisation, showed moderate relationship (R=0.51), another 8 stations with low urbanisation showed significant increase in Tmin. This suggests warming from factors other than local urban development on Tmin. Since PRD contains 123 cities over 1 million population, and a semi-continuous urbanised area due to merging of urban centres, a regional heat island circulation, or heat dome model is invoked. The observed increase in Tmax above background warming rates for 14 stations, is more difficult to explain as Tmax is not generally affected by urbanisation. This is attributed to high surface energy flux in the afternoon, and anthropogenic energy use in dense urban districts. The regional heat dome circulation over PRD suggests local temperatures will increase further, even without further local developments.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 09:52
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2021 02:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/89518

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