Dr Jianfeng Li, Assistant Professor of the Department of Geography, collaborated with scholars from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Alberta in Canada to study the changes in human-perceived temperature under global warming. They found that human-perceived temperature is rising faster than actual temperature under climate change. The study has been published in an internationally renowned journal Nature Climate Change, and reported in international and local media. Nature Climate Change is a top journal on climate change with 2-year impact factor of 19.3.

The research team used four reanalysis datasets of the past climate and outputs from seven GCMs to estimate the human-perceived equivalent temperature AP, from AT, humidity and wind. Findings showed that the global land average AP increased 0.04℃ per decade faster than AT before 2005, because of the concurrent increases in AT and humidity. This trend was projected to increase to 0.06 ℃per decade and 0.17℃per decade under Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 scenario (RCP4.5) and RCP8.5, respectively, and reduce to 0.02℃ per decade under RCP2.6. The faster increases in AP are more significant in low latitude areas (tropical and sub-tropical regions) than the middle and high latitude areas. Study also indicated that the number of days with extremely apparent temperature will substantially increase in 2081 to 2100 compared to the period between 1981 and 2000, mainly due to the remarkable increase in the frequency of extremely hot days in summer.

(From right) Dr Li Jianfeng from HKBU, AXA Professor Gabriel Lau and Professor David Chen from CUHK