Jan 04, 2022

Investigating Global Warming & Future Urbanization Impacts on Heat Stress in Lagos, Nigeria & the Greater Bay Area, China Megacities—A Multi-Scale Modeling Approach

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Across the world, people are experiencing extreme temperatures with heat waves which have been intensified by global warming. Meanwhile, in highly urbanized megacities, the heat is worsened by the accompanying urban heat island effect. In the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report, future regional climate projections for various continents were provided under different Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (scenarios of projected socioeconomic global changes). However, it is not clear how heat stress might be manifested in developing megacities that are affected by both climate change and urban development.

This project attempts to fill this gap with a pilot study to investigate the dual effect of global warming and urbanization on heat stress in two megacity clusters—Lagos in Nigeria and the Greater Bay Area in South China—through a novel multi-scale modeling approach which utilizes a high-resolution atmospheric model with urban physics incorporated to simulate the atmospheric conditions in selected heatwave cases. The results will unveil the impact of district-scale climate warming on cities and inhabitants. Besides, local hotspots will be identified and several combinations of nature-based mitigation strategies will be proposed and evaluated. The findings will help set up a proper methodology to systematically assess climate risks related to heatwave occurrence in developing megacities and inform public policies and climate-sensitive urban planning with a view to creating resilient, sustainable, and livable cities.

The team will disseminate the research findings in academic journals and conferences, and organize training workshops on the multi-scale modeling approach for ECRs and local practitioners for knowledge transfer purposes. The modeling will also enable other research groups to conduct environmental and sustainability research which is quantitative and highly interdisciplinary.