3 years ago

Climate variability of heat wave and projection of warming scenario in Taiwan

Yi-Yun Chien, Chuan-Yao Lin, Shih-Chun Lung, Mien-Tze Kueh, Chiung-Jui Su

Abstract

This study examined the climate variability of heat wave (HW) according to air temperature and relative humidity to determine trends of variation and stress threshold in three major cities of Taiwan, Taipei (TP), Taichung (TC), and Kaohsiung (KH), in the past four decades (1971–2010). According to the data availability, the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) heat stress for the three studied cities was also calculated for the past (2003–2012) and simulated under the future warming scenario for the end of this century (2075–2099) using ECHAM5/MPIOM-WRF (ECW) dynamic downscaling 5-km resolution. Analysis showed that past decade (2001–2010) saw increase not only in the number of HW days in all three cities but also in the duration of each HW event in TP and KH. Simulation results revealed that ECW well captures the characteristics of data distribution in these three cities during 2003–2012. Under the A1B projection, ECW yielded higher WBGT in all three cities for 2075–2099. The WBGT in TP indicated that the heat stress for 50% of the days in July and August by 2075–2099 will be at danger level (WBGT ≥ 31 °C). Even the median of WBGT in TC and KH (30.91 and 30.88 °C, respectively) are close to 31 °C. Hence, the heat stress in all three cities will either exceed or approach the danger level by the end of this century. Such projection under the global warming trend would necessitate adaptation and mitigation, and the huge impact of dangerous heat stress on public health merits urgent attention for Taiwan.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-017-2091-0

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-017-2091-0

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