3 years ago

Harmonic analysis of 130-year hourly air temperature in Hong Kong: detecting urban warming from the perspective of annual and daily cycles

Shi Yin, Kai Wang, Pak Wai Chan, Yuguo Li, Zhiwei Luo


The century-long search for the precise mechanisms responsible for urban heat islands continues, while urban warming worsens in many megacities. Most studies have focused on mean temperature, daily and annual temperature ranges and urban heat island intensity. We hypothesize that an analysis of the changes in the characteristics of the complete daily and annual temperature cycles, including not only the mean temperature and temperature ranges (amplitudes) but also the maximum and minimum temperatures and the phases, can provide more information on urban warming phenomena. Through a detailed analysis of long-term observations in Hong Kong, we found that the difference in the daily cycle between urban and rural stations is very distinct, whereas the annual cycles are much more similar, suggesting that the urban environment has a greater effect on the daily cycle than on the annual cycle. The daily phase has shifted a total of 1.77 h later over the last 130 years (1.36 h per century) in the urban area of Hong Kong according to the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) data. The annual phase change at HKO reflects the globally observed phenomenon that the annual phase advances or seasons onset earlier.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-017-3944-y

DOI: 10.1007/s00382-017-3944-y

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