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Assessing the current and future urban heat island of Brussels

Author:
D. Lauwaet  K. De Ridder  S. Saeed  E. Brisson  F. Chatterjee  N.P.M. van Lipzig  B. Maiheu  H. Hooyberghs  


Journal:
Urban Climate


Issue Date:
2016


Abstract(summary):

Highlights • The UHI of Brussels (Belgium) is modelled for present and future climate conditions. • Model evaluation showed the capability of reproducing observed UHI characteristics. • UHI intensity is found to be strongly correlated to inversion strength. • The UHI of Brussels is expected to decrease slightly due to global warming. • Heat wave days in the city increase twice as fast as in the rural surroundings. Abstract This study examines the urban heat island (UHI) of Brussels, for both current (2000–2009) and projected future (2060–2069) climate conditions, by employing very high resolution (250 m) modelling experiments, using the urban boundary layer climate model UrbClim. Meteorological parameters that are related to the intensity of the UHI are identified and it is investigated how these parameters and the magnitude of the UHI evolve for two plausible trajectories for future climate conditions. UHI intensity is found to be strongly correlated to the inversion strength in the lowest 100 m of the atmosphere. The results for the future scenarios indicate that the magnitude of the UHI is expected to decrease slightly due to global warming. This can be attributed to the increased incoming longwave radiation, caused by higher air temperature and humidity values. The presence of the UHI also has a significant impact on the frequency of extreme temperature events in the city area, both in present and future climates, and exacerbates the impact of climate change on the urban population as the amount of heat wave days in the city increases twice as fast as in the rural surroundings.


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