'Cold Winters Soon A Thing Of The Past For HK'

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2019-02-10 HKT 12:48

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  • Former observatory head Lam Chiu-ying says in the near future, Hong Kong could stop experiencing any cold days. Photo: RTHK

    Former observatory head Lam Chiu-ying says in the near future, Hong Kong could stop experiencing any cold days. Photo: RTHK

Lam Chiu-ying speaks to RTHK's Maggie Ho

A former head of the observatory, Lam Chiu-ying, has warned that Hong Kong may be on the verge of never having a cold winter ever again.

Temperatures have been up into the mid 20s in recent days and at 24.9 Celsius, last Wednesday was officially the warmest second day of the Lunar New Year since records began in 1884.

In 2008, Lam predicted that if people didn't start conserving more energy, sometime from 2020 onwards the city would no longer experience any cold days – when temperatures fall to 12 degrees or below.

On a radio programme on Sunday, the former observatory chief said his fears back then were well-placed and he believes cold winters will very soon be a thing of the past for Hong Kong.

But while warmer days in the first couple of months of the year might well be welcomed by many people, Lam also warned that Hong Kong can expect hotter and hotter summers.

To prevent this, he said the city's residents would have to change their way of life, by using less air-conditioning to help mitigate climate change.

He said the government also has to do its part by regulating how buildings are built, saying there has been a "bad trend" in the past decade or so for developers to use much more glass in their properties.

"We see much more glass walls on buildings. This is creating a lot of artificial greenhouses, which means that it's much warmer in the building and therefore people are switching on the air-conditioners much more," Lam told RTHK's Maggie Ho.

"We should gradually reduce the use of glass as walls of buildings. It would lead to a great reduction in the use of electricity for air-conditioning," he said.