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Contrasting changes of urban heat island intensity during hot weather episodes

  • Fenner, Daniel
  • Holtmann, Achim
  • Meier, Fred
  • Langer, Ines
  • Scherer, Dieter
Publication Date
Dec 16, 2019
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Cities typically exhibit higher air temperatures than their rural surroundings, a phenomenon known as the urban heat island (UHI) effect. Contrasting results are reported as to whether UHI intensity (UHII) is exacerbated or reduced during hot weather episodes (HWEs). This contrast is investigated for a four-year period from 2015 to 2018, utilising a set of observational data from high-quality meteorological stations, as well as from hundreds of crowdsourced citizen weather stations, located in the urban region of Berlin, Germany. It can be shown that if HWEs, defined here as the ten percent hottest days or nights during May–September, are identified via daytime conditions, or by night-time conditions at inner-city sites, then night-time UHII is exacerbated. However, if HWEs are identified via night-time conditions at rural sites, then night-time UHII is reduced. These differences in UHII change can be linked with prevalent weather conditions, namely radiation, cloud cover, wind speed, precipitation, and humidity. This highlights that, beside land cover changes, future changes in weather conditions due to climate change will control UHIIs, and thus heat-stress hazards in cities. / BMBF, 01LP1602C , Verbundprojekt Stadtklima: Dreidimensionale Beobachtung atmosphärischer Prozesse in Städten, Modul B - 3DO / DFG, 322579844, Hitzewellen in Berlin, Deutschland - Stadtklimamodifkationen / DFG, 414044773, Open Access Publizieren 2019 - 2020 / Technische Universität Berlin

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