Home > RGC Public Lectures > 18 July 2015 - RGC Public Lectures - Climate Changes

RGC Public Lectures - Climate Changes

Two leading scholars have been invited to deliver public lectures on Climate Changes organized by the Research Grants Council with the Hong Kong Science Museum on 18 July 2015 (Saturday). Details of the lectures are as follows:

Topic Speaker Time
Impact of Climate Change on Air Quality of Pearl River Delta Region

Dr. K.S. Lam (Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Sea-level Change in the Past, Present and Future: Implications to Hong Kong

Professor Yongqiang Zong (Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong)

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Venue: Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum (Location Map)
Language: Cantonese
Free admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

For enquires, please contact us at 2524 3987 or rgc@ugc.edu.hk.

First Session

Topic: Impact of Climate Change on Air Quality of Pearl River Delta Region
Speakers: Dr. K.S. Lam
Time: 18 July 2015 (Saturday) 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Brief introduction:

Climate change and air quality deterioration are two critical challenges that human beings are facing. Climate change induces changes in air temperature, intensity of extreme weather events, and in the amount and pattern of precipitation. Air quality depends directly or indirectly on weather conditions. Therefore, local and regional air quality is sensitive to climate change. Up to the present time, few scientists in Europe and America have investigated the sensitivity and found that climate change may affect air quality by altering transport processes, atmospheric chemical reactions, and pollutant emissions. It is proposed to study the changes in surface ozone and aerosol in the future when air temperature rises through integrating the results of insitu experiments, fixed station observations and numerical models. In-situ experiments will be carried out in some strategic places of Pearl River Delta Region in different seasons to record the boundary meteorological conditions and the concentrations of air pollutants. Meteorological and air quality observation data at a few selected fixed stations will be collected. Recent and future climate and air quality will be simulated by using a 3-D, regional climate-chemistry model system WRF-CHEM. The approach is to conduct four numerical experiments to achieve the proposed objectives. The first experiment will simulate one year period: 2008 for present day conditions (base case). The second experiment will simulate one future year 2050 under no emission growth. The third experiment will repeat the second experiment with emission growth (IPCC, A2 rapid economic growth scenario). The fourth experiment will simulate a few high pollution days in 2050 under different emission scenarios. The aforementioned filed data will be used for model validation and bias identification. Then the simulated data will be analyzed to characterize the current relationship between temperature rise and future surface ozone/aerosol in Pearl River Delta Region.

About the Speaker:

Dr. K.S. Lam is currently an Associate Professor working in Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr. Lam acquired both his bachelor and doctor degree from The University of Hong Kong. In recent years, he has been teaching subjects related to occupational health and safety, indoor air quality, applied mathematics and statistics. Dr. Lam has been doing research in areas related to meteorology, air quality and climate change. His research covered stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change impact and urban heat island. Research methodology includes long term ground monitoring, remote sensing and numerical modelling. He has built and operated a background-air monitoring station in Hok Tsui in 1993. He has been monitoring total ozone and solar ultraviolet radiation over Hong Kong since 1995. He specializes in air quality monitoring instruments and numerical modeling. He is the Principal Investigator of the second climate change impact study conducted by Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department. Dr. Lam has great interest in meteorology. He was the ex-Chair of the Hong Kong Meteorological Society.



Second Session

Topic: Sea-level Change in the Past, Present and Future: Implications to Hong Kong
Speaker: Professor Yongqiang Zong
Time: 18 July 2015 (Saturday) 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Brief introduction:

One of the consequences of global warming is the rise of sea level. As predicted by the recent IPCC report, global mean sea level has risen for about 20cm for the 20th century and will rise for further 26-55cm or 52-98cm by the end of the 21st century. Without any doubt, this rise of sea level will pose a serious threat to coastal communities worldwide and to Hong Kong. However, sea-level change has a strong regional pattern, with places experiencing significant deviations from the global mean change. Thus, to help local communities be better prepared for this potential threat, scientific studies on regional sea-level change are urgently needed. Based on a number of recent studies in the South China Sea region, this presentation will start with an overview of climate change and sea-level fluctuations throughout some important geological periods, and explain the underlying causes for sea-level change and methods for sea-level studies. It will be followed by showing some results and a summary of the sea-level history for the South China Sea region. The sea-level history will help us understand the two fundamental geological processes which determine the trajectory of changes in coastal environment of the region in the past, present and future. With the above knowledge in mind, the potential impacts of future sea-level rise on Hong Kong's society can be evaluated, including impacts on the coastal environment, major engineering projects and storm flood hazards. Finally, this presentation will lead the audience to analyze why we must not allow global temperature to rise for more than 2oC within the 21st century and why climate warming will have greater impacts on human society than climate cooling in the issue of sea-level change.

About the Speaker:

Before gaining a PhD degree in Durham University, UK, in 1993, Professor Yongqiang Zong had self-taught in marine geology while working in a butcher shop of Guangzhou and studied coastal environmental change in a research institute of China. Between 1993 and 2008, he worked as a postdoctoral research assistant, lecturer and senior lecturer in Durham University, teaching environmental science courses and researching sea-level change. Since 2008, he has served in the University of Hong Kong as an Associate Professor and Professor, coordinating the development of the multidisciplinary major in Environment Science. During his 20 or so years of academic career, he has studied extensively in the fields of monsoon climate change, sea-level and coastal change, and environmental archaeology, as well as developed laboratory techniques using microfossils and organic geochemical methods for palaeo-environmental studies.


If global temperature is allowed to rise for more than 2oC within the 21st century, sea level may rise for 3 to 5 m. Significant area of the reclaimed land in Hong Kong (shaded in blue) will be flooded by the sea.

Coral reefs emerged about 5 m above sea level are evidence of a high sea level during the last interglacial, during which global temperature was 1.5oC warmer than the present.

Many existing mangrove wetlands and centres of biodiversity will be lost by the rising sea level.