A global survey of the meteorological features accompanying heat waves (HWs) is offered. Examples are taken from HW events occurring in North America, Europe and East Asia. Particular attention is devoted to episodes in Southern China. Results are presented based on observational weather records for the past several decades, as well as projected changes in various HW measures (severity, frequency and duration) inferred from climate model experiments through the 21st century. The effects of intense urbanization and land use changes in China on HW trends are assessed by contrasting HW statistics for urban and rural sites, and by categorizing HW metrics according to urban growth rates.
About the Speaker:
Prof. Gabriel Ngar-Cheung Lau is the AXA Professor of Geography and Resource Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He previously served as the lead scientist of the Climate Diagnostics Project at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He was concurrently a Lecturer with the rank of Professor at the Department of Geosciences and Program of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at Princeton University.
Prof. Lau was born in Hong Kong and spent his youth in this city. He majored in physics at United College, CUHK, and received the B.Sc. degree in 1974. He proceeded to pursue graduate studies at the University of Washington in Seattle, and received the Ph.D. degree in atmospheric sciences in 1978. He then went to Princeton and was associated with the research and teaching programs at GFDL throughout the 1978-2013 period.
He has authored or coauthored over 100 publications in various scientific journals, and has been designated as a Highly Cited Researcher by the ISI Web of Knowledge. He was a contributing author of the Fourth Assessment Report, and a lead author of the Fifth Assessment Report, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize (2007).
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