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Climate 2015, 3(2), 391-415;

Detailed Urban Heat Island Projections for Cities Worldwide: Dynamical Downscaling CMIP5 Global Climate Models

Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO), Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Aondover Tarhule and Zewdu T. Segele
Received: 26 March 2015 / Revised: 27 April 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 1 June 2015
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A new dynamical downscaling methodology to analyze the impact of global climate change on the local climate of cities worldwide is presented. The urban boundary layer climate model UrbClim is coupled to 11 global climate models contained in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 archive, conducting 20-year simulations for present (1986–2005) and future (2081–2100) climate conditions, considering the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 climate scenario. The evolution of the urban heat island of eight different cities, located on three continents, is quantified and assessed, with an unprecedented horizontal resolution of a few hundred meters. For all cities, urban and rural air temperatures are found to increase strongly, up to 7 °C. However, the urban heat island intensity in most cases increases only slightly, often even below the range of uncertainty. A potential explanation, focusing on the role of increased incoming longwave radiation, is put forth. Finally, an alternative method for generating urban climate projections is proposed, combining the ensemble temperature change statistics and the results of the present-day urban climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; dynamical downscaling; urban heat island climate change; dynamical downscaling; urban heat island

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Lauwaet, D.; Hooyberghs, H.; Maiheu, B.; Lefebvre, W.; Driesen, G.; Van Looy, S.; De Ridder, K. Detailed Urban Heat Island Projections for Cities Worldwide: Dynamical Downscaling CMIP5 Global Climate Models. Climate 2015, 3, 391-415.

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