Increasing the Resilience to the Health Impacts of Extreme Weather on Elderly People

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Under Future Climate Change

Funded by Research Impact Fund, Research Grant Council, Hong Kong (Amount: HKD 9,836,000)

Extreme hot weather is expected to be more frequent and intense in Hong Kong under future climate change. The impacts will be exacerbated due to the presence of urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon in our high-density city. In particular, elderly people are more vulnerable to the impacts of extreme hot weather because of their decline in physiological functions and their behaviour and response. As such, plans for “mitigation” and “adaptation” actions are urgently needed.

Numerous studies have proved that excess mortality and morbidity are associated with extreme hot weather. It is important for different sectors of the society to take necessary actions. However, there are three issues to be addressed for successful responses, including lack of data at different spatial and temporal scales for understanding the extreme hot weather, lack of evidence-based mitigation and adaptation response plans.

The study team consists of twelve researchers from four local universities, with expertise ranging from global and regional climate modelling, urban-scale microclimatic studies, neighbourhood and building designs, public health, geriatric and gerontology, psychology.

The objectives of the present study are:

  • To downscale global climate data to urban scale for weather information services and health impact assessment;

  • To develop a mitigation action plan with better urban planning and building design under extreme weather

  • To develop an adaptation action plan for supporting services to increase the resilience of elderly people to extreme weather.

Principal Investigator(s):

Prof Edward NG

Project members:

Prof Gabriel LAU, Prof William GOGGINS, Prof Jean Woo, Prof Helene FUNG, Dr Kevin Ka-Lun LAU (CUHK); Prof Patsy CHAU, Prof Yuguo LI, Prof Chao REN (HKU); Prof Tin-tai CHOW, Prof Square FONG (CityU); Prof Jimmy FUNG (HKUST)


Selected Publications

Shi Y, Ren C, Cai M, Lau KKL, Lee TC, Wong WK, 2019. Assessing spatial variability of extreme hot weather conditions in Hong Kong: A land use regression approach. Environmental Research 171: 403-415.

Wang D, Lau KKL, Ren C, Goggins WB, Shi Y, Ho HC, Lee TC, Woo J, Ng E, 2019. The impact of extremely hot weather events on all-cause mortality in a highly urbanized and densely populated subtropical city: A 10-year time-series study (2006–2015). Science of the Total Environment 690: 923-931.

Morakinyo TE, Ren C, Shi Y, Lau KKL, Tong HW, Choy CW, Ng E, 2019. Estimates of the impact of extreme heat events on cooling energy demand in Hong Kong. Renewable Energy 142: 73-84.

Ho HC, Lau KKL, Ren C, Ng E, 2017. Characterizing prolonged heat effects on mortality in a sub-tropical high-density city, Hong Kong. International Journal of Biometeorology 61(11): 1935-1944