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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Albedo Increase to Mitigate the Urban Heat Island in Terni (Italy) Using the WRF Model

1
Engineering Department, CIRIAF, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 67, Perugia 06125, Italy
2
AMESiS Energy Inc, Montreal, QC H4b 1r8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 999; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8100999
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 28 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 7 October 2016
The impacts of the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon on energy consumption, air quality, and human health have been widely studied and described. Mitigation strategies have been developed to fight the UHI and its detrimental consequences. A potential countermeasure is the increase of urban albedo by using cool materials. Cool materials are highly reflective materials that can maintain lower surface temperatures and thus can present an effective solution to mitigate the UHI. Terni’s proven record of high temperatures along with related environmental and comfort issues in its urban areas have reflected the local consequences of global warming. On the other hand, it promoted integrated actions by the government and research institutes to investigate solutions to mitigate the UHI effects. In this study, the main goal is to investigate the effectiveness of albedo increase as a strategy to tackle the UHI, by using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale model to simulate the urban climate of Terni (Italy). Three different scenarios through a summer heat wave in the summer of 2015 are analyzed. The Base Scenario, which simulates the actual conditions of the urban area, is the control case. In the Albedo Scenario (ALB Scenario), the albedo of the roof, walls and road of the whole urban area is increased. In the Albedo-Industrial Scenario (ALB-IND Scenario), the albedo of the roof, walls and road of the area occupied by the main industrial site of Terni, located in close proximity to the city center, is increased. The simulation results show that the UHI is decreased up to 2 °C both at daytime and at nighttime in the ALB and in ALB-IND Scenarios. Peak temperatures in the urban area can be decreased by 1 °C at daytime, and by about 2 °C at nighttime. Albedo increase in the area of interest might thus represent an opportunity to decrease the UHI effect and its consequences. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban heat island; UHI; albedo increase; mesoscale simulation; weather research and forecasting model (WRF) urban heat island; UHI; albedo increase; mesoscale simulation; weather research and forecasting model (WRF)
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Morini, E.; Touchaei, A.G.; Castellani, B.; Rossi, F.; Cotana, F. The Impact of Albedo Increase to Mitigate the Urban Heat Island in Terni (Italy) Using the WRF Model. Sustainability 2016, 8, 999.

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