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The Urban Heat Island Effect in the City of Valencia: A Case Study for Hot Summer Days

Centre for Climate Change (C3), Department of Geography, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43480 Vilaseca (Tarragona), Spain
Global Change Unit, Image Processing Laboratory, Parc Científic Universitat de Valencia, 46980 Paterna, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Panagiotis Nastos
Urban Sci. 2017, 1(1), 9;
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 2 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 16 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Thermal Environment under Global Warming Pressure)
Extreme heat poses significant risks to the world’s growing urban population, and the heat stress to human health is likely to escalate with the anthropogenically increased temperatures projected by climate models. Thus, the additional heat from the urban heat island (UHI) effect needs to be quantified, including the spatial pattern. This study focuses on the city of Valencia (Spain), investigating the intensity and spatial pattern of UHI during three consecutive hot summer days accompanying a heat record. For the analysis, long-term in situ measurements and remote sensing data were combined. The UHI effect was evaluated using two approaches: (a) based on air temperature (AT) time-series from two meteorological stations and (b) using land surface temperature (LST) images from MODIS products by NASA with 1 km resolution. The strongest nighttime UHI estimated from AT was 2.3 °C, while the most intense surface UHI calculated as the difference between the LST of urban and rural regions (defined by NDVI) was 2.6 °C—both measured during the night after the record hot day. To assess the human thermal comfort in the city the Discomfort Index was applied. With the increasing number of tropical nights, the mitigation of nighttime UHI is a pressing issue that should be taken into consideration in climate-resilient urban planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban heat island; heat stress; MODIS; urban planning; Valencia urban heat island; heat stress; MODIS; urban planning; Valencia
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Lehoczky, A.; Sobrino, J.A.; Skoković, D.; Aguilar, E. The Urban Heat Island Effect in the City of Valencia: A Case Study for Hot Summer Days. Urban Sci. 2017, 1, 9.

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