Managing planet Earth to make future development more sustainable: climate change and Hong Kong

W.W.S. Yim, Clifford Ollier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    School of Earth and Geographical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia)Selected recent findings related to climate change in Hong Kong include: (1)The Hong Kong seafloor has yielded a ca.0.5-million year record of climate and sea-level changes.(2)Greenhouse gases produced naturally from sub-aerially exposed continental shelves and oceanic islands were a probable forcing mechanism in triggering the abrupt termination of past ice ages. (3)An analysis of annual mean temperature records has revealed that the urban heat island effect has contributed ca.75% of the warming. (4)Past volcanic eruptions are found to lower Hong Kong's temperature and to cause extremely dry and wet years. (5)No evidence can be found for an increase in frequency and intensity of typhoons based on the instrumental record since the end of the Second World War. (6)The observed rate of sea-level rise in the South China Sea is much slower than the predictions of the IPCC Fourth Assessment. For the Earth's management, population growth and the depletion of non-renewable resources must be recognized as unsustainable. The human impact on the natural hydrological cycle is an important forcing mechanism in climate change. In order to delay the demise of the human race, management must include curbing population growth and much more waste recycling than at present.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-198
    JournalQuaternary Sciences
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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