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11 FEB 2019 (MON) 11:50-12:35 | 14:00-14:45 | 15:15-16:00 | 16:30-17:15

Research Seminars on Climate Change

Map Library, Room 10.10, 10th Floor, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU



Applications of GIS and Remote Sensing in Climate Change and Air Quality

Dr Yun Fat LAM School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


The grid-based Eulerian models have been widely used to study the effects of climate change and its impacts on regional air quality. As the models are capable of simulating the physical and chemical processes in the atmosphere, it has become an essential tool for studying the interaction of meteorology and air pollution in the area of physical geography. In order to provide the necessary spatial inputs (e.g., landuse pattern, terrain information and air emissions) for the models, Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing are often being used as a tool in the process. In this talk, two examples of GIS applications on regional air quality modelling are introduced. The first study focuses on the development of regional air emissions, where a new approach based on “blue-roof” characteristic was developed to generate the spatial pattern of industrial emissions in China. Both shape-based and pixel-based image processing methods were separately applied under different resolutions of Google tile images to achieve better performance in the building identification process. For the second example, a methodology for identifying the long-range transport of air pollutants from Southeast Asia (SEA) to Hong Kong is presented. In the study, emissions of SEA biomass burning (i.e., GFED v4) derived from MODIS data products were applied to both Lagrangian (i.e., HYSPLIT) and Eulerian (i.e., CMAQ) models to simulate the transport of air pollutants and to qualify its relative impacts to local air quality in Hong Kong.



Understanding Heat Extremes in China: From Synoptics to Climate Change

Time: 2:00 – 2:45 p.m.

Dr LUO Ming School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat Sen University, China


Extreme temperature events commonly known as heat waves (HWs) have profound impacts on human health and natural systems. Under ‘global warming’, the frequency and magnitude of HWs have increased over recent decades, and are projected to intensify in the future, exerting increasingly impacts on society in many parts of the world. An improved scientific understanding of this phenomenon is important for the planning of mitigating measures that are aimed at alleviating its adverse effects. In this project, we have conducted a systematic investigation of the HW behaviors in China at various time scales from days to decades. In particular, their intraweek (day-to-day) synoptic behavior and physical causes, interannual (year-to-year) variations and the linkage with the El Niño Southern Oscillation, long-term trends and the impacts of regional urbanization. In addition, we have also examined the behaviors of human-perceived heat stress that describes the combined effect of high temperatures and humidity.



Climate Change and Social Resilience: Case Studies and Perspectives in Asia

Dr YANG Liang Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes”, Kiel University, Germany


This presentation concentrates on the concept of climate resilience within a few case studies in Asia developing areas, which reflects the presenter’s major research in the recent 5 years. Specifically, climate induced flood risks and human responses are analyzed and modeled in both urban (Pearl River Delta) and rural areas (Northern Pakistan mountains), as well as in historical periods (Central and South Asia along the historical Silk Road) and the present time (recent China). Ongoing research project on urban resilience to climate risks (PRD cities) and paleoclimate-society relationships (High Asia mountains) are also shortly introduced. The presented studies involve research approaches of climate modeling, literature re-analysis, historical achieves, agent-based modeling and field surveys on both historical and recent climate change impacts. As a brief summary, these case studies offered a multi-dimensional knowledge on the dynamic climate-society interrelationships, providing a few missing links to understand how climate resilience develops within complex socio-environment contexts and to reinforce priorities for resilience building.



Whose and What Climate Futures? Navigating the Contested Coproduction of Energy Transitions in Thailand and the Philippines

Dr Laurence L. DELINA Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, Boston University, United States


The futures of climate actions in developing countries need to be catalyzed, created, and nurtured in processes hinged towards achieving the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement in time and scale required. This talk uses the processes of sociotechnical energy system transitions as lens to look at how Thailand and the Philippines are producing their respective normative climate futures. Using the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries in Science, Technology and Society Studies and empirical evidence gathered through face-to-face interviews, focus groups, and document analysis, this talk critically engages, describes, and compares (1) the dominant and (2) resistant imaginaries in the ongoing production of climate futures in these two South East Asian countries. I will highlight three core imaginaries and describe how they intertwine with political economy, are determined by value sets and value systems, and present either visions of continuity or transformation. The dominance and/or marginalization of an imaginary, it appears, are contingent upon issues of power and resources. This entails that the production of climate futures in developing countries would be an ongoing process intertwining with heterogeneous actors and institutions, and their value systems, interests, and politics. Understanding these tensions and allowing alternative imaginaries to permeate policy-setting processes would be key in delivering coherent and effective development pathways in these countries.



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