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Title: Interactions between urban heat islands and heat waves

Abstract

Heat waves (HWs) are among the most damaging climate extremes to human society. Climate models consistently project that HW frequency, severity, and duration will increase markedly over this century. For urban residents, the urban heat island (UHI) effect further exacerbates the heat stress resulting from HWs. Here we use a climate model to investigate the interactions between the UHI and HWs in 50 cities in the United States under current climate and future warming scenarios. We examine UHI 2m (defined as urban-rural difference in 2m-height air temperature) and UHI s (defined as urban-rural difference in radiative surface temperature). Our results show significant sensitivity of the interaction between UHI and HWs to local background climate and warming scenarios. Sensitivity also differs between daytime and nighttime. During daytime, cities in the temperate climate region show significant synergistic effects between UHI and HWs in current climate, with an average of 0.4 K higher UHI 2m or 2.8 K higher UHI s during HWs than during normal days. These synergistic effects, however, diminish in future warmer climates. In contrast, the daytime synergistic effects for cities in dry regions are insignificant in the current climate, but emerge in future climates. At night, the synergistic effectsmore » are similar across climate regions in the current climate, and are stronger in future climate scenarios. We use a biophysical factorization method to disentangle the mechanisms behind the interactions between UHI and HWs that explain the spatial-temporal patterns of the interactions. Results show that the difference in the increase of urban versus rural evaporation and enhanced anthropogenic heat emissions (air conditioning energy use) during HWs are key contributors to the synergistic effects during daytime. The contrast in water availability between urban and rural land plays an important role in determining the contribution of evaporation. At night, the enhanced release of stored and anthropogenic heat during HWs are the primary contributors to the synergistic effects.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [8]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP)
  2. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Dept. of Geosciences
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division, Climate Sciences Dept.
  4. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS)
  5. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Dept. of Global Health
  6. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  7. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States). Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and National Center for Supercomputing Applications
  8. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). International Energy Analysis Dept., China Energy Group
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1485083
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1748-9326
Publisher:
IOP Publishing
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; heat wave; urban heat island; surface evaporation; surface biophysical processes; climate change

Citation Formats

Zhao, Lei, Oppenheimer, Michael, Zhu, Qing, Baldwin, Jane W., Ebi, Kristie L., Bou-Zeid, Elie, Guan, Kaiyu, and Liu, Xu. Interactions between urban heat islands and heat waves. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa9f73.
Zhao, Lei, Oppenheimer, Michael, Zhu, Qing, Baldwin, Jane W., Ebi, Kristie L., Bou-Zeid, Elie, Guan, Kaiyu, & Liu, Xu. Interactions between urban heat islands and heat waves. United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa9f73.
Zhao, Lei, Oppenheimer, Michael, Zhu, Qing, Baldwin, Jane W., Ebi, Kristie L., Bou-Zeid, Elie, Guan, Kaiyu, and Liu, Xu. Fri . "Interactions between urban heat islands and heat waves". United States. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/aa9f73. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1485083.
@article{osti_1485083,
title = {Interactions between urban heat islands and heat waves},
author = {Zhao, Lei and Oppenheimer, Michael and Zhu, Qing and Baldwin, Jane W. and Ebi, Kristie L. and Bou-Zeid, Elie and Guan, Kaiyu and Liu, Xu},
abstractNote = {Heat waves (HWs) are among the most damaging climate extremes to human society. Climate models consistently project that HW frequency, severity, and duration will increase markedly over this century. For urban residents, the urban heat island (UHI) effect further exacerbates the heat stress resulting from HWs. Here we use a climate model to investigate the interactions between the UHI and HWs in 50 cities in the United States under current climate and future warming scenarios. We examine UHI2m (defined as urban-rural difference in 2m-height air temperature) and UHIs (defined as urban-rural difference in radiative surface temperature). Our results show significant sensitivity of the interaction between UHI and HWs to local background climate and warming scenarios. Sensitivity also differs between daytime and nighttime. During daytime, cities in the temperate climate region show significant synergistic effects between UHI and HWs in current climate, with an average of 0.4 K higher UHI2m or 2.8 K higher UHIs during HWs than during normal days. These synergistic effects, however, diminish in future warmer climates. In contrast, the daytime synergistic effects for cities in dry regions are insignificant in the current climate, but emerge in future climates. At night, the synergistic effects are similar across climate regions in the current climate, and are stronger in future climate scenarios. We use a biophysical factorization method to disentangle the mechanisms behind the interactions between UHI and HWs that explain the spatial-temporal patterns of the interactions. Results show that the difference in the increase of urban versus rural evaporation and enhanced anthropogenic heat emissions (air conditioning energy use) during HWs are key contributors to the synergistic effects during daytime. The contrast in water availability between urban and rural land plays an important role in determining the contribution of evaporation. At night, the enhanced release of stored and anthropogenic heat during HWs are the primary contributors to the synergistic effects.},
doi = {10.1088/1748-9326/aa9f73},
journal = {Environmental Research Letters},
number = 3,
volume = 13,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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