18-1

Urban Changes & Climate
Urban Heat Island
Urbanization
Effects
Mitigation Strategies

Science Concepts
Surface Types
Surface Energy Budget - Cities
Ozone - Temperature
Relationship

Climate and Global Change Notes

. forested area - For example. i. Atlanta.18-2 Urban Heat Island Atlanta How has urban growth changed the climate system over cities? • Landsat 7 images from the 1970s.averages about 55 acres of trees per day 1985 1996 Climate and Global Change Notes . 1980s and 1990s show trends in urbanization 1974 - Note changes in green.e.000 acres of trees between 1973 and 1992 . GA gobbled up 380.

18-3 Urban Heat Island Madison County Growth 1984 – 13% Developed 1990 – 21% Developed 2000 – 30% Developed 2020 – 50% Developed LEGEND Developed Land Undeveloped Land Change: 1984 – 1990 Change: 1990 .2000 Climate and Global Change Notes .

18-4 Urban Heat Island What happens to the Sun’s energy at the Earth’s surface over a city? • An acre of forest or cropland receives as much sunlight as an acre of buildings • Green space will be cooler because of transpiration and shading of the ground • Urban surfaces get much hotter than vegetated surfaces during the day. • They release this energy at night. creating a dome of warmer air at night Climate and Global Change Notes .

dense buildings. could be as large as 4C/km • Urban areas appear like a “plateau” with weaker increasing gradient.18-5 Urban Heat Island What is “Urban Heat Island”? • Urban areas are warmer. lakes (cool). commercial areas or industrial areas (warm) • Intensity of the UHI depends on the urban-rural temperature difference Climate and Global Change Notes . This pattern is influenced by distinct intra-urban land uses: open areas. parks. like an “island” of heat surrounded by cooler rural areas • Large horizontal temperature gradient exist at the urban/rural boundary.

html Climate and Global Change Notes .gov/Study/UrbanRain/urbanrain2. etc.nasa. http://earthobservatory. Yellow areas are relatively cool Red areas are hot Note correlation between hot areas and roads.18-6 Urban Heat Island Atlanta Urban Heat Island • Atlanta metro region 9/28/2000 Landsat-7 image • True-color image (top) - • Surface temperature (bottom) - • Urban areas are gray Wooded suburbs and open fields are green QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.

18-7 Urban Heat Island Atlanta Urban Heat Island (Con’t) • Atlanta Central Business District (CBD) - Midtown Residential May 1997 CBD Climate and Global Change Notes .

18-8 Urban Heat Island Atlanta Urban Heat Island (Con’t) • Midtown Residential Atlanta cross-city temperature CBD Climate and Global Change Notes .

increased thermal admittance Decreased evaporative cooling Construction materials . relative roles are not certain • Factors combine to make the urban area store sensible heat during the day.g. and inhibit this excess heat from dissipating rapidly at night. dark materials (e.greater absorption and emission Decreased long wave radiation loss Canyon geometry -. less vegetation. and other plants Canyon geometry .reduction of sky view factor Anthropogenic heat source Waste heat from city buildings and traffic Increased sensible heat storage Construction materials . asphalt Air pollution .increased water-proofing..18-9 Climate Elements Urban Heat Island Intensity • Factors below contribute to UHI. Altered energy budget terms Features of urbanization underlying energy budget change Increased absorption of short wave radiation Increased long wave radiation for sky Canyon geometry .reduction of wind speed Decreased total turbulent heat transport Climate and Global Change Notes . shrubs.increased surface area and multiple reflection.

18-10 Urban Heat Island Urban Heat Island Effects • UHI has several direct and indirect effects. accelerates the formation of harmful smog. PM. higher O3 - Increases chemical weathering of building materials Climate and Global Change Notes . including biological. CO. NO. economic and meteorological effects - Increases demand for cooling energy - Increases electricity generation which leads to higher emissions of SO2. CO2.

18-11 Urban Heat Island Urban Heat Island Effects (Con’t) • UHI has several direct and indirect effects. economic and meteorological effects (Con’t) - Temperature affects ozone amount > > Increases the thermal destruction of some hydrocarbon-nitrate molecules (peroxyacetylnitrate or PANs) that free NO2 Increases the vegetative emission of VOCs and evaporation of VOCs Climate and Global Change Notes . including biological.

most weather stations are located near urban areas.18-12 Urban Heat Island Urban Heat Island Effects (Con’t) - Induces convergence over city - Initiates convective activity downwind of city - Precipitation and cloud cover enhancement occur downwind of city - Trends of global warming are higher in urban areas. which could bias the trends of global warming. Climate and Global Change Notes .

urban planners. architects.18-13 Urban Heat Island What can be done to mitigate the effects of urba • NASA has been flying aircraft over nine cities to determine their thermal characteristics that drive the development of the urban heat island • Working with city officials. schools and other groups to educate and affect change - Color of roofs More trees Better community planning Climate and Global Change Notes .

meteorological conditions (wind speed.18-14 Urban Heat Island Urban Heat Island Summary • Urban areas are usually warmer than rural areas. UHI generates its own circulation. • Formation of UHI and its magnitude results from urban and geographical characteristics. radially outward flow above. height-to-width ratio). • First noticed ~170 years ago. Climate and Global Change Notes . city size (population. • UHI has distinct seasonal behavior. it is still not well-understood. usually greatest in the summer. • UHI not only affects temperature. It also impacts global warming. it affects cloudiness. especially at night. cloud cover). radially inward flow at street level. weakest in the winter. Under ideal conditions. precipitation and air quality. Even with numerous studies since the 1960’s.