Session 72: Urban weather and climates: Assessments and responses


Session Abstract

Although currently only a small fraction of the Earth's land is considered urban, the spatial coverage and density of cities is expected to rapidly increase in the near future. The United Nations estimates that by the year 2025, 60% of the world's population will live in cities. With further urbanization, local and regional-scale changes to urban ecological structure, ambient pollution levels, biodiversity composition, human thermal comfort as well as nutrient and energy flows within cities and it's surrounding areas will arise. Thus, research based on observational, modeling and/or remote sensing platforms across cities would be needed to document these alterations. The challenges facing urban climate research across all spatial scales are further compounded by the influence - and impacts - of global climate change, such as higher and more extreme temperatures, and variations to precipitation regimes. These impacts could potentially increase the physical exposure of urban residents as well as complicate the adaptive and/or mitigation responses of municipal governments. The interactions of these multi-scale impacts would thus present unique challenges related to residents, urban planners and other stakeholders in cities.

Keywords: climate, weather, meteorology, climatology, climate hazards, urban heat island, precipitation, air pollution


Key Discussion Points

  • Next steps are to take predicted temperature increases, as they relate to thermal comfort, to also predict related energy increases as a result of air-conditioner (AC) usage.
  • Relative humidity, or more accurately ‘vapor pressure’, is an important factor in the tropics, as it plays a role in human health and thermal comfort and must be included in future models.
  • Where is the science in terms of generating typologies or classifications in understanding what types of underlying conditions matter in what places with respect to certain types of vegetation, urban form, building materials, in addition to the oft-heard about anthropogenic sources (AC, cars, etc.)? This will be important given differences in latitudes and capacities of cities in terms of using building materials and investments in simulations and projections for identifying the most optimal for mitigation policies (emerging country cities).
  • There is potential in more temperate regions and sub-tropics where much of the literature is focused, and where doing more comparative analyses would be possible.
  • In order to address urban climate and impacts of climate change, background conditions must be known for a specific city as well as the elevation or latitude, etc. There are so many factors included in the urban climate that what might work in Paris, for example, as a mitigation strategy may not work in a city in a similar latitude.
  • Cities can bring anomalies or modification in rainfall patterns as well as snow and lightning (increased due to aerosols); urban heat island (UHI) is the most studied, but these other factors are key for human health (e.g., water cycle changes and disease emergence).
  • What are the key entry points or co-benefits of mitigating the UHI and for larger conversations around climate change mitigation?  In many cases the tools to mitigate the UHI are locally focused and framed in this manner, allowing for the simultaneous attention to climate change. 



Chandana Mitra, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

J. Marshall Shepherd, University of Georgia, Athens, GA



Madhumita Jaganmohan, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany

Presentation Title: The cooling effects of green spaces onto the residential areas of Leipzig, Germany

Chandana Mitra, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

Presentation Title: Urban heat island intensity of Kolkata city and methods to ameliorate its impact

Andreas Matzarakis, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Presentation Title: Estimation of urban bioclimate by micro-scale models for the development of mitigation and adaptation possibilities

Winston Chow, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Presentation Title: Influence of land cover on micro scale outdoor human thermal comfort in a tropical city

Ariane Middel, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA

Presentation Title: Summer daytime oasis effect at the Las Vegas desert-urban fringe

Hiroyuki Kusaka, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan

Presentation Title: Urban climate projection in Tokyo for the 2050's August by the 4-km horizontal grid spacing RCMs: Impact of RCM and urban scenario


Return to Conferences Sessions

Return to Conference Themes