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The Reason & Possible Solution of Hong Kong’s Temperature Change by City-Tech Blogger Lok Ting Wong

Hong Kong’s climate change is getting worse every year. The most important thing that we feel in our daily life is temperature change. What is temperature change? It means the temperature keeps going up and getting warmer every year and is mostly  caused by greenhouse gas. This problem will not only affect the city of Hong Kong but the entire world. Hong Kong is known as an international city that uses a lot of energy every day, which may be affecting our environment. Most people in Hong Kong will say temperature change will not affect their daily lives because they have an air conditioner, a car, or some other new technology allowing them to stay in their comfort zone. However, is anyone thinking about how the air conditioner, the car or the latest technology is polluting Hong Kong? For this problem, we have to talk about what kinds of gases are released from appliances we use and what kinds of energy are used to drive those things. Most of the time, we will use electricity and gasoline in order to operate electric appliances and vehicles. Those kinds of energies will release a lot of greenhouse gases to the air and makes the air become warmer. Also, most of the time, people will use coal in order to produce electricity, and it is costing the environment.

This is the graph that showed the temperature change from 1885 – 2015 in Hong Kong

As time goes on, most people are beginning to realize how temperature change is affecting their environment and their lives. Therefore, Hong Kong is trying to use more renewable energy such as natural gas in order to produce electricity instead of using fossil fuels. If people stop using fossil fuels, it will be an effective way to prevent the temperature from becoming worse and will reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. People should be facing the problem together not trying to ignore it. If everyone takes one small step, the city will become better. For example, people should walk and take public transportation, turn off  electric appliances when not in use, and use the air conditioner  when the temperature is really high.

As I said before, Hong Kong is an international city that really cares about international responsibilities. In Hong Kong, the government often encourages citizens with messages on television to reduce their carbon emissions and often promote the practice. Also, studies have shown the temperature change in Hong Kong is a very serious issue. The graph above from Hong Kong Observatory is showing  temperature levels from 1885  to 2015. We can see that the temperature levels  are getting worse every year. There have no evidence that temperatures will drop in the future if people don’t change their lifestyle. Therefore, people should try to get out of the comfort zone in order to protect the environment. People should not only think about themselves,  they should think about the next generations too. Therefore, I hope people can deeply think about the issue we have in Hong Kong.

 
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OUR TAKE: Will a New Natural Gas Line honor the Paris Agreement?

According to a recent article on Bloomberg.com,  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is favoring  a new Liquefied Natural Gas Line (LNG), the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. We all know that Germany is cold in winter. It gets a third of its natural gas heating needs from Russia, a market share Russia wants to maintain or grow. A proposed new gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, just won Merkel’s approval, which upsets Poland because the link would bypass Poland and Ukraine, which would both lose transit fees.

 

The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015.  Source: Gazprom

Competing suppliers including Norway and the U.S. want to increase their market share. European Union (EU) countries worry about over dependence on Russia for gas supplies, and what the new link would do to EU energy diversification objectives under the Paris Agreement. All very complicated, and whatever happens, there will be some discord. Germany’s support increases the probability that the Nord Stream 2 link will be built. It doesn’t appear as if anyone is thinking ahead to the transition already underway from high-carbon fossil fuels to lower-carbon ones and renewables. LNG is relatively low-carbon, but will it retain its share in Europe’s energy mix over the coming decades? Nor does it seem as if anyone is pondering the impact of the new LNG link on Germany’s and Poland’s large coal-based energy sectors.

 
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The Earth is Changing Fast! by City Tech Blogger Mohammed Forkan

 

Climate change is heard so frequently now that people are just sidestepping the topic. What is a climate change then? I rather briefly inform you the causes without giving you a literal meaning of it. The rising of sea levels, shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerating ice melt in Greenland, Antarctica and the Artic, and shifts in flower/plant blooming times. These are all effects of climate change, according to NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

I am from Bangladesh, a south Asian country with a population of over 165 million. A land of 57K square miles and densely populated if equated to the land area of the whole country itself. According to NYTimes, out of many places, Bangladesh is at the top of everybody’s list of being at risk from rising sea levels. As we know, sea level rising is an effect of climate change. Many islands in the country are sinking in the Bay of Bengals, Indian Ocean due to rising of the sea level. When I lived there, I saw agricultural lands and nearby houses where people lived that were now under water. This mostly affected the poor. I am from the city, where the land at a higher elevation as compared to villages but in the last few years when I visited Bangladesh, I’ve seen people using boats to travel on what used to be streets used by vehicles; this is due to floods caused by sea level rising in the monsoon season.

What is Bangladesh doing about the climate change? Bangladesh has signed an agreement with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) known as the Paris Agreement, which states, “The Agreement aims to respond to the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”2

Bangladesh signing the Paris agreement is not enough. The developed countries need to step up. Out of all the developed countries, United States is one of the top but the U.S. is trying to undo the policies under Trump’s administration according to NYTimes. This decision of U.S. can be very hurtful to this Earth. Time is running out and people need to act fast!

 

 
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Time to Sell Your Beachfront Property? by Senior Editor and Contributor George Ropes

An article by Peter Hess a few days ago on inverse.com shows the alarming rate of sea level rise revealed by 25 Years of Satellite Data. Scientists using satellites and carefully correcting for such atmospheric anomalies as the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, various calibration errors, and the fact that the sea floor is sinking, have determined that sea level is indeed rising, and in fact is rising faster and faster each year. Not by much — only 0.8mm/year — but it adds up. The scientists calculate that by 2100 sea level will rise 77cm.

At 2.54 cm/inch, that’s about 2 and a half feet — not inconsequential for many coastal cities around the world. And, the rate at which sea level rises is expected to increase as the climate gets warmer, the melting of ice at both poles speeds up, and water expands as it warms. A mass extinction in our lifetimes may be alarmist, but if you own beachfront property, it’s time to start thinking about selling.

 

 

 

 

 
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OUR TAKE: The Climate Hawk Challenge

A very important — and disturbing — piece was posted a few days ago on Vox.com by David Roberts entitled “Reckoning with climate change will demand ugly tradeoffs from environmentalists — and everyone else.”   The article says that climate change is an existential threat, which means that we all need to become not just environmentalists but “climate hawks,” prioritizing de-carbonization over every other value. It says tradeoffs will be inescapable, disruptions inevitable — and uncomfortable, perhaps impossible.

The thing of it is, in our hearts we know the author is right. What makes any particular action-decision difficult is the gap between what climate science KNOWS today and what it PROJECTS will probably happen in the future based on what we now know. We can posit a limit, a tipping point, a time, or a set of conditions beyond which ecosystems will continue but they will not be as we know and have grown accustomed to. It will be an ice-free planet where we won’t know with any precision where or when that absolute limit is. We can assume that as we approach that marker the costs of drawing back from it will increase, probably exponentially, but really we just don’t know how much time or carbon we have left.

And we have little sense of how the costs of climate inaction compare to the costs of climate action. Should we close that nuclear plant? Should we switch all our incandescent light bulbs for LEDs? Should we all become vegans, or at least cut way back on meat? Should we all ditch our gas-guzzling SUVs and pickups for hybrids and EVs? Should we be first on our block to give up our personal car for an autonomous vehicle at our beck and call? How far inland from the increasingly flooded coast should we relocate, and when? How much of an influx into our communities of climate refugees both domestic and foreign should we tolerate before agitating our government to restrict them? Should we forego having that third, or second, or even that first child so as to not incur his or her lifetime carbon footprint?

Some very tough decisions await us. It’s not at all clear that humankind is capable of deciding — and acting — to do what is necessary to save itself in the time we have left.

 

 
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