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Is It Possible to Distinguish Global and Regional Climate Change from Urban Land Cover Induced Signals? A Mid-Latitude City Example

1
Meteorological Institute, CEN, Universität Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
2
Institute of Geography, CEN, Universität Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
3
Department of Mathematics, CEN, Universität Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
4
Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
5
Department of Biology, CEN, Universität Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2010012
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract

The local climate in cities differs from the one in rural areas, most prominently characterized by increased surface and air temperatures, known as the “(surface) urban heat island”. As climate has changed and continues to change in all areas of the world, the question arises whether the effects that are noticeable in urban areas are “homemade”, or whether some of them originate from global and regional scale climate changes. Identifying the locally induced changes of urban meteorological parameters is especially relevant for the development of adaptation and mitigation measures. This study aims to distinguish global and regional climate change signals from those induced by urban land cover. Therefore, it provides a compilation of observed and projected climate changes, as well as urban influences on important meteorological parameters. It is concluded that evidence for climate change signals is found predominantly in air temperature. The effect of urban land cover on local climate can be detected for several meteorological parameters, which are air and surface temperature, humidity, and wind. The meteorology of urban areas is a mixture of signals in which the influencing parameters cannot be isolated, but can be assessed qualitatively. Blending interactions between local effects and regional changes are likely to occur. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban climate; climate change; urban heat island; regional climate; local scale; mid-latitude city; meteorological parameters urban climate; climate change; urban heat island; regional climate; local scale; mid-latitude city; meteorological parameters
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wiesner, S.; Bechtel, B.; Fischereit, J.; Gruetzun, V.; Hoffmann, P.; Leitl, B.; Rechid, D.; Schlünzen, K.H.; Thomsen, S. Is It Possible to Distinguish Global and Regional Climate Change from Urban Land Cover Induced Signals? A Mid-Latitude City Example. Urban Sci. 2018, 2, 12.

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