CR 63:145-155 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01293

Rapid urbanization effect on local climate: intercomparison of climate trends in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, 1968-2013

Lei Li1, Pak Wai Chan2,*, Deli Wang1, Mingyan Tan1

1Shenzhen National Climate Observatory, Meteorological Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Severe Weather in South China, Shenzhen 518040, PR China
2Hong Kong Observatory, 998000 Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: An intercomparison of climate trends between 2 adjacent large cities, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, in the past 46 yr (1968-2013) suggests that the rate of urbanization is clearly reflected in the rate of the change in local climate. Since becoming a special economic zone in 1980, Shenzhen has experienced a very rapid urbanization process. In only 30 yr, Shenzhen has transformed from a small town into a metropolis rivaling Hong Kong. The gross domestic product and urban built-up area in Shenzhen have increased rapidly. Climate data analysis over the last 46 yr showed a greater rate of change in climate in Shenzhen than in Hong Kong over the same period. In Shenzhen, average annual temperature warmed by 1.63 ± 0.18°C (~0.35 ± 0.04°C per decade), average maximum temperature increased by 0.90 ± 0.19°C, average minimum temperature increased by 2.09 ± 0.23°C and the diurnal temperature range (DTR) decreased by 1.18 ± 0.23°C. Over the same period in Hong Kong, average temperature increased by 0.47 ± 0.20°C (~0.10 ± 0.04°C per decade), maximum temperature increased by 0.12 ± 0.28°C, minimum temperature increased by 0.55 ± 0.20°C and DTR decreased by 0.43 ± 0.27°C. In addition, relative humidity in Shenzhen decreased by 13.13 ± 1.78% in the last 46 yr, while there were no significant changes in Hong Kong. Finally, data analysis showed that urbanization has no significant effect on total rainfall for both cities.


KEY WORDS: Rapid urbanization · Local climate · Climate change · Shenzhen · Hong Kong


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Cite this article as: Li L, Chan PW, Wang D, Tan M (2015) Rapid urbanization effect on local climate: intercomparison of climate trends in Shenzhen and Hong Kong, 1968-2013. Clim Res 63:145-155. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01293

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