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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer Cox x
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Barry H. Lynn
Toby N. Carlson
Cynthia Rosenzweig
Richard Goldberg
Leonard Druyan
Jennifer Cox
Stuart Gaffin
Lily Parshall
, and
Kevin Civerolo


A new approach to simulating the urban environment with a mesocale model has been developed to identify efficient strategies for mitigating increases in surface air temperatures associated with the urban heat island (UHI). A key step in this process is to define a “global” roughness for the cityscape and to use this roughness to diagnose 10-m temperature, moisture, and winds within an atmospheric model. This information is used to calculate local exchange coefficients for different city surface types (each with their own “local roughness” lengths); each surface’s energy balances, including surface air temperatures, humidity, and wind, are then readily obtained. The model was run for several summer days in 2001 for the New York City five-county area. The most effective strategy to reduce the surface radiometric and 2-m surface air temperatures was to increase the albedo of the city (impervious) surfaces. However, this caused increased thermal stress at street level, especially noontime thermal stress. As an alternative, the planting of trees reduced the UHI’s adverse effects of high temperatures and also reduced noontime thermal stress on city residents (and would also have reduced cooling energy requirements of small structures). Taking these results together, the analysis suggests that the best mitigation strategy is planting trees at street level and increasing the reflectivity of roofs.

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