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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-132
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2018-132
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Peer-reviewed comment 21 Dec 2018

Peer-reviewed comment | 21 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Local models reveal greater spatial variation than global grids in an urban mosaic: Hong Kong climate, vegetation, and topography rasters

Brett Morgan and Benoit Guénard Brett Morgan and Benoit Guénard
  • School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR

Abstract. The recent proliferation of high quality global gridded GIS datasets has spurred a renaissance of studies in many fields, particularly biogeography. However these data, often 1 km at the finest scale available, are too coarse for applications such as precise designation of conservation priority areas and species distribution modeling, or purposes outside of biology such as city planning and precision agriculture. Further, these global datasets likely underestimate local climate variation because they do not incorporate locally relevant variables. Here we describe a comprehensive set of 30 m resolution rasters for Hong Kong, a small subtropical territory with highly variable terrain where intense anthropogenic disturbance meets a robust protected area system. The data include topographic variables, NDVI, and interpolated climate variables based on weather station observations. We present validation statistics that convey each climate variable's reliability, and compare our results to a widely used global dataset, finding that our models consistently reflect greater climatic variation. To our knowledge, this is the first set of published environmental rasters specific to Hong Kong. We hope this diverse suite of geographic data will facilitate future environmental and ecological studies in this region of the world, where a spatial understanding of rapid urbanization, introduced species pressure, and conservation efforts is critical. The dataset is accessible at https://figshare.com/s/3a5634e36e80dc33444c.

Brett Morgan and Benoit Guénard
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Brett Morgan and Benoit Guénard
Data sets

Hong Kong climate, vegetation, and topography rasters B. Morgan and B. Guénard https://figshare.com/s/3a5634e36e80dc33444c

Brett Morgan and Benoit Guénard
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Short summary
Hong Kong is poised to become a model region for understanding the effects of urbanization, biotic invasions, and protected areas in the subtropics. However, until now there were few suitable GIS layers to address these issues on a landscape scale. This set of 30 m resolution vegetation, topography, and interpolated climate rasters will enable a new generation of spatial studies in Hong Kong. Compared to global datasets, these local models consistently indicate greater climatic heterogeneity.
Hong Kong is poised to become a model region for understanding the effects of urbanization,...
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