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Article

Investigating Future Urbanization’s Impact on Local Climate under Different Climate Change Scenarios in MEGA-urban Regions: A Case Study of the Pearl River Delta, China

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Division of Environmental and Sustainability, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
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Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Institute of Future Cities, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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School of Geographical Science, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
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School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
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School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070771
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 14 July 2020 / Accepted: 17 July 2020 / Published: 21 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology)
Urbanization is one of the most significant contributing factors to anthropogenic climate change. However, a lack of projected city land use data has posed significant challenges to factoring urbanization into climate change modeling. Thus, the results from current models may contain considerable errors in estimating future climate scenarios. The Pearl River Delta region was selected as a case study to provide insight into how large-scale urbanization and different climate change scenarios impact the local climate. This study adopts projected land use data from freely available satellite imagery and applies dynamic simulation land use results to the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF). The simulation periods cover the summer periods in 2010 and 2029–2031, the latter of which is averaged to represent the year 2030. The WRF simulation used the observed local climate conditions in 2010 to represent the current scenario and the projected local climate changes for 2030 as the future scenario. Under all three future climate change scenarios, the warming trend is prominent (around 1–2 °C increase), with a widespread reduction in wind speed in inland areas (1–2 ms−1). The vulnerability of human health to thermal stress was evaluated by adopting the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT). The results from the future scenarios suggest a high public health risk due to rising temperatures in the future. This study provides a methodology for a more comprehensive understanding of future urbanization and its impact on regional climate by using freely available satellite images and WRF simulation tools. The simulated temperature and WBGT results can serve local governments and stakeholders in city planning and the creation of action plans that will reduce the potential vulnerability of human health to excessive heat. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban climate; WRF; Land use land cover; wet-bulb globe temperature; thermal comfort; future urbanization prediction; climate change urban climate; WRF; Land use land cover; wet-bulb globe temperature; thermal comfort; future urbanization prediction; climate change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yeung, P.S.; Fung, J.C.-H.; Ren, C.; Xu, Y.; Huang, K.; Leng, J.; Wong, M.M.-F. Investigating Future Urbanization’s Impact on Local Climate under Different Climate Change Scenarios in MEGA-urban Regions: A Case Study of the Pearl River Delta, China. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 771. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070771

AMA Style

Yeung PS, Fung JC-H, Ren C, Xu Y, Huang K, Leng J, Wong MM-F. Investigating Future Urbanization’s Impact on Local Climate under Different Climate Change Scenarios in MEGA-urban Regions: A Case Study of the Pearl River Delta, China. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(7):771. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070771

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yeung, Pak S.; Fung, Jimmy C.-H.; Ren, Chao; Xu, Yong; Huang, Kangning; Leng, Jiye; Wong, Michael M.-F. 2020. "Investigating Future Urbanization’s Impact on Local Climate under Different Climate Change Scenarios in MEGA-urban Regions: A Case Study of the Pearl River Delta, China" Atmosphere 11, no. 7: 771. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070771

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