CityU hosts meteorology and climate workshop on South China

Michael Gibb

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The Workshop on Meteorology and Climate over South China (5-7 Dec) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) is the first of its kind to address specifically the most crucial meteorological and climate issues facing South China today.

 

These issues include climate change, air pollution, severe weather (typhoons, heavy rain) and remote sensing applications for studying the weather and climate.

 

CityU has the strongest research team in atmospheric science in Hong Kong, with expertise in the area of typhoons, monsoons, atmospheric remote sensing and environmental modeling.

 

Today’s (5 Dec) opening ceremony was officiated by Professor Roland Chin, Chairman of the

, HKSAR; Mr C Y Lam, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory; Chair Professor Johnny Chan of CityU’s Department of Physics and Material Sciences (AP) and Laboratory for Atmospheric Research (LAR); and Chair Professor Michel Van Hove, Head of AP. Professor Roderick Wong, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, offered a welcoming message on behalf of the University.

 

“The aim of the workshop is to promote greater collaboration among scientists in China and other countries specializing on the weather and climate of South China,” said Professor Chan, during his opening remarks.

 

“With the rapid economic development and the associated significant increase in the population of the Pearl River Delta region, the weather and climate of South China have recently become a focus in the meteorological community especially in China and East Asia,” Professor Chan added.

 

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rofessor Wong, in his welcoming speech, said the workshop was a significant event because pollution and cyclones were a concern for the people of South China, and he emphasized the relevance of CityU’s active role in applied research in this area. Professor Van Hove agreed, saying the themes of the workshop were well suited to the mission of the University, AP and LAR and he indicated that more collaboration and closer interaction across disciplines were vital to improving research.

 

Continuing the theme of the importance of applied research, Professor Chin pointed out that Hong Kong spent 0.6% of its GNP on academic research, compared to Japan and the US which both spend more than 2%. He said universities needed to create high impact research that was relevant to society and could put Hong Kong on the map.

 

In his talk, Mr Lam said visibility in Hong Kong had fallen by a factor of 4 in the last 15 years. “Hong Kong is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and pollution because it is the most developed city in the region,” he said.

 

He added that the Earth’s second industrial revolution was taking place, i.e. the industrialization of mainland China, and its magnitude was greater than that of the industrial revolution that took place in Europe 150 years ago.

 

During the three-day workshop, prominent meteorological experts and academicians from, among others, CityU’s AP and LAR; the ChineseAcademy of Sciences (CAS); Academia Sinica; Hong Kong Observatory; National Climate Centre; and regional and overseas universities will share research findings during the three-day eve

nt.

 

In their keynotes addresses, Professor Liu Shaw Chen, Academia Sinica, spoke about the long-range transport of air pollutants and the implications for the ozone in South China. He said the increases in levels of ozone were a result of the industrialization of China and he noted the “huge” increases in ozone in Tsuen Wan as well as in Tai Po and Central, while Professor Huang Ronghui, CAS, discussed how the South China Sea summer monsoon was affected by the climate in the western Pacific Ocean.

 

After the opening ceremony, delegates observed a display led by Dr Andrew Cheng of the AP and LAR of CityU’s LIDAR technology, a revolutionary laser-based system that measures air pollution up to 8km away. The technology is kept in a van to facilitate movement around Hong Kong to monitor the atmosphere.

 

The workshop is organized by CityU, sponsored by the Croucher Foundation and co-organized by the Environmental Protection Department, HKSAR Government; Hong Kong Observatory, HKSAR Government; and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

 

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