Resilient cities - Hong Kong report: extreme heat

Causes of extreme heat



Typhoons, or tropical cyclones, are formed and derive their energy from large areas of warm seawater. The HKO notes that “sea surface temperatures of at least 26°C would favour the formation of tropical cyclones.” 9 This phenomenon occurs as evaporation causes warm water vapour to release heat (“latent heat”) that in turn provides energy for the formation of tropical cyclones. The increase in moisture in the air (as water evaporates more quickly due to an increase in air temperature) over the ocean creates an area of low air pressure and results in heavier air swirling above this area. The HKO further highlighted that super typhoons were more common now than they were between 1961 and 2010. 10 Rising sea surface temperature is expected to intensify both the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones in Hong Kong.

Location of Hong Kong Hong Kong is south of the Tropic of Cancer and is located on traditional typhoon tracks

Hong Kong is located at the south-eastern point of China and is also a coastal port with a long coastline. More importantly, Hong Kong is situated south of the Tropic of Cancer and experiences subtropical climate throughout the year. This means that summers are generally hot and humid and winters are mild.Coupled with the fact of being surrounded by water, Hong Kong is located on traditional typhoon tracks which make it particularly susceptible to the possibility of increased and more severe typhoons as a result of climate change.


Tropic of Cancer

23.5 °

22.3 °

Hong Kong

Typhoon Tracking

9 10 mega-storms-super-typhoon

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