Temperature projection in a tropical city using remote sensing and dynamic modeling

Janet Elizabeth Nichol, To Pui Hang, Edward Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Recent temperature projections for urban areas have only been able to reflect the expected change due to greenhouse-induced warming, with little attempt to predict urbanisation effects. This research examines temperature changes due to both global warming and urbanisation independently and applies them differentially to urban and rural areas over a sub-tropical city, Hong Kong. The effect of global warming on temperature is estimated by regressing IPCC data from eight Global Climate Models against the background temperature recorded at a rural climate station. Results suggest a mean background temperature increase of 0.67 °C by 2039. To model temperature changes for different degrees of urbanization, long-term temperature records along with a measureable urbanisation parameter, plot ratio surrounding different automatic weather stations (AWS) were used. Models representing daytime and nighttime respectively were developed, and a logarithmic relationship between the rate of temperature change and plot ratio (degree of urbanisation) is observed. Baseline air temperature patterns over Hong Kong for 2009 were derived from two ASTER thermal satellite images, for summer daytime and nighttime respectively. Dynamic raster modeling was employed to project temperatures to 2039 in 10-year intervals on a per-pixel basis according to the degree of urbanization predicted. Daytime and nighttime temperatures in the highly urbanized areas are expected to rise by ca. 2 °C by 2039. Validation by projecting observed temperature trends at AWS, gave low average RMS errors of 0.19 °C for daytime and 0.14 °C for nighttime, and suggests the reliability of the method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2921-2929
Number of pages9
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Climate change
  • Dynamic modeling
  • Remote sensing
  • Temperature projection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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