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Open AccessArticle

Megacity-Induced Mesoclimatic Effects in the Lower Atmosphere: A Modeling Study for Multiple Summers over Moscow, Russia

1
Faculty of Geography/Research Computing Center, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1 Leninskiye Gory, Moscow 119991, Russia
2
A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 3 Pyzhyovskiy Pereulok, Moscow 119017, Russia
3
Department of Forest and Water Management, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
4
Division of Geography and Tourism, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2018, 9(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9020050
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 4 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Effects on Humans—EMS 2017 Session)
Urbanization leads to distinct meteorological features of urban environments, and one the best-known is the urban heat island (UHI) effect. For megacities, these features become mesoscale phenomena (scale ≥ 10 km) that are amplified by the tropospheric feedbacks, and have substantial implications on human well-being. For the first time, a three-dimensional statistical description of the megacity-induced meteorological effects extending towards the lower troposphere for summer is acquired on a quasi-climatological timescale (a decade) based on high-resolution (1 km) simulations for Moscow with the COSMO-CLM model with and without its urban canopy model TERRA_URB. Our results confirm the features from previous observational and modeling studies, including the UHI itself, the cooling effect above established by the cross-over effect, the urban dry/moist islands and the urban breeze circulation. Particularly, the UHI shows a strong diurnal variation in terms of intensity and vertical extent between daytime (≈0.5 K/≈1.5 km) and nighttime (>3 K/≈150 m). We have discovered a systematic veering in the downwind shift of the UHI spatial pattern established by the Coriolis effect, and an enhanced stable stratification of the rural surroundings established by the urban plumes further downwind. Finally, extending the analysis to multiple summers demonstrates a substantial increase in summer precipitation (up to +25%) over the city center and its leeward side. These urban-caused mesoclimatic effects need to be taken into account in weather and climate services, including the design of future megacities. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban climate; urban heat island; urban dry island; urban breeze; regional climate modeling; COSMO; crossover effect; urban plume; urban precipitation enhancement urban climate; urban heat island; urban dry island; urban breeze; regional climate modeling; COSMO; crossover effect; urban plume; urban precipitation enhancement
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Varentsov, M.; Wouters, H.; Platonov, V.; Konstantinov, P. Megacity-Induced Mesoclimatic Effects in the Lower Atmosphere: A Modeling Study for Multiple Summers over Moscow, Russia. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 50.

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