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Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, struck the Philippines in November 2013 with winds of up to 190 mph (305 kph). At least 10,000 people died in one Philippine province alone.

NewsHong Kong
ENVIRONMENT

Observatory warns of increased floods and more powerful typhoons

Climate change will also bring an increased risk of flooding as sea levels rise, Observatory says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 November, 2013, 11:29pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 November, 2013, 9:56am

The city should brace itself for increasingly powerful typhoons and more widespread flooding in the next few decades as the climate warms and sea levels rise, the Hong Kong Observatory has warned.

Sea levels are expected to rise by 40cm on average by the middle of the century as temperatures increase by at least two degrees Celsius, Observatory meteorologists said.

"Hong Kong is like a frog in water that is gradually being brought to the boil; people do not seem to be aware of the long-term effects of climate change," said Observatory assistant director Edwin Lai Sau-tak.

Low-lying flood black spots such as San Tin and Shek Wu Wai in Yuen Long, and areas in Tai Po and North district, would be at higher risk of extreme flooding.

By the end of the century, sea levels are forecast to rise by 80cm and temperatures by between three and six degrees, according to new Observatory data.

Referring to the 2004 Hollywood movie The Day After Tomorrow, which portrayed a world suffering disasters brought on by global warming, Lai said: "I think The Day after Tomorrow actually happened yesterday."

The Observatory sounded the warning based on an analysis of the latest report issued by the Geneva-based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) a scientific body operating under the auspices of the UN.

Government bodies should take into account the new data and review their risk assessments for infrastructure, buildings and drainage and flood control, the Observatory said.

In April, weather officers will cast out to sea new floating sensors to obtain more accurate measurements of storm strength.

The intensity of storms is expected to become much greater, Observatory officials said, although their frequency is not expected to increase significantly.

Average daily temperatures in the city have risen 1.2 degrees since 1913, Observatory records show. Mean sea levels in Victoria Harbour have gone up by 29 millimetres per decade since 1954.

The intergovernmental panel released its most comprehensive study on climate change last month. It said there was a 95 per cent chance carbon-intensive human activity had caused the rise in global temperatures in recent decades.

Video: Typhoon Usagi Timelapse

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johndoe
Global warming is a scam.
Andy C
"At least 10,000 people died in one Philippine province alone."
-
No they didn't. Check your facts before publishing such outrageous claims.
Up to 4,000 were killed. Bit of a difference to your claim of 10,000.
dynamco
"By the end of the century, sea levels are forecast to rise by 80cm"
3 meter storm surges above high water levels hit Tacloban
HK Govt intends to build our mega incinerator ash lagoons in the sea since the landfills are almost full (lies, but what the heck)
Irresponsible legacy ?
meanwhile our current tunnel vision Govt decision makers will by then be well ensconced in Santa Monica, London & fairy godmotherland & DNGAF about HKG or its future legacy disasters.
KwunTongBypass
so we make the seawalls around your ash lagoons 3.85 meters high - OK?
And concerning the "lies" about the landfills - why don't you ask the people of LOHAS = Lots Of Horribly Awful Smells Park about extending their lovely neighborhood??
joyalsofi
"By the end of the century, sea levels are forecast to rise by 80cm and temperatures by between three and six degrees, according to new Observatory data." There are many predictions by reputable climate scientists whose models predict much greater sea level rise and much sooner than 'end of the century.' (For example see, ****news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131009-climate-change-worldwide-cities-science/) Why is HK Observatory downplaying the extent and the date for this climate catastrophe? Why isn't the government doing something to make HK people safer? What good is a bridge to Zhuhai or a third runway, or a Central to Wan Chai by-pass, if they're underwater? Just imagine the condition of the MTR and cross-harbour tunnels with the flooding that is being predicted. The current do-nothing governmental policy needs to change but that's less likely to happen with the Observatory low-balling the predictions.
patrick.gifford.180
There is no man made climate change, many scientists agree
earth is auto-regulating itself ,
there was always ultra violent storms or strange weather before any human activity, nothing new .
this is just propaganda by the elite free masons who are ruling us.
The sun activity and its particules are much more violent on the earth's magnetic field .
All this climate change was invented by gangster politicians and others to create a new business opportunity named "carbon credit' , a new way for governments and their mafia to steal your money under the " protect the earth banner' .
joyalsofi
"There is no man made climate change, many scientists agree
earth is auto-regulating itself ," Does this include climate scientists and would you please provide evidence of this claim?
"All this climate change was invented by gangster politicians and others to create a new business opportunity ..." As if the carbon barons, coal and oil corporations weren't already in control and doing all they can to denigrate efforts to raise awareness of this potentially life-extinguishing phenomenon. Record arctic sea ice melts year after year, record flooding and typhoons, increased glacier melting ought to 'auto-regulate some of the ideas you are espousing.
Andy C
@joyalsofi - your information is incorrect.
- Have you heard of the "annual melt season"?
- Typhoons are not increasing (worldwide).
- Where is this record flooding?
- Arctic ice has actually increased.
Stop being such a global warming alarmist and do some research.
patrick.gifford.180
just read the book by Claude Allegre (famous French Geo chemist/geo physician)
The climate imposture published in 2010 .
50% of scientists say the climate change is man made, other half say no (mainly sun activity/ ), just do your own research on the subject.
All is explained in the book by claude allegre
superdx
Take your medication yet?

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