"Hot-key stick"-like Rise in Temperature

It is probably a record nobody wants to break, but break it we did. Following an August with a record-breaking 307 hours 50 minutes under “Very Hot Weather” warnings (see blog on 1 September), we now have the longest “Very Hot Weather” warning in September on record. This spell lasted a whopping 156 hours. It took an early morning drizzle today to finally cool things off.

Of course, the rise of temperatures is not a phenomenon confined to Hong Kong. Research reveals, for example, that the temperature in the Arctic now is the highest in 2,000 years. While the Arctic is very sensitive both to solar heating and greenhouse warming, the latter has now overtaken the former as the most important factor governing the temperature of the region.

“The last half-century was the warmest of the 2,000-year temperature record, and the last 10 years have been especially dramatic,” said study leader Darrell Kaufman from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Another research, Nicholas McKay of Arizona University put it very graphically: “The result is a 'hockey stick’-like curve in which the last decade - 1998-2008 - stands out as the warmest in the entire series.”
For Hong Kong, with its tall buildings, urban heat island effect and all that, the “hockey stick”-like curve must have been rising much more sharply.

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