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B. Offerle
,
C. S. B. Grimmond
, and
T. R. Oke

Abstract

A simple scheme to estimate net all-wave radiation (Q*) is evaluated using annual datasets in three urban settings (Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Łódź, Poland). Results are compared with a regression model based on incoming solar radiation and with an urban canopy-layer model incorporating a canyon geometry radiation scheme that requires a larger set of meteorological and surface property inputs. This net all-wave radiation parameterization (NARP) is most sensitive to albedo and the effects of clouds on incoming longwave radiation. Although omitting the diurnal variation of albedo has little impact on overall model fit, its seasonal variability needs to be considered in some cases. For incoming longwave radiation, even clear-sky estimates show a large degree of scatter, and results degrade substantially if cloudy periods are included. NARP shows improvement over the regression approach. If observations of downwelling longwave radiation are included, NARP and the more complex canopy scheme show similar results, near or within the range of instrument error, depending of time of year.

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B. Offerle
,
C. S. B. Grimmond
,
K. Fortuniak
, and
W. Pawlak

Abstract

Surface properties, such as roughness and vegetation, which vary both within and between urban areas, play a dominant role in determining surface–atmosphere energy exchanges. The turbulent heat flux partitioning is examined within a single urban area through measurements at four locations in Łódź, Poland, during August 2002. The dominant surface cover (land use) at the sites was grass (airport), 1–3-story detached houses with trees (residential), large 2–4-story buildings (industrial), and 3–6-story buildings (downtown). However, vegetation, buildings, and other “impervious” surface coverage vary within some of these sites on the scale of the turbulent flux measurements. Vegetation and building cover for Łódź were determined from remotely sensed data and an existing database. A source-area model was then used to develop a lookup table to estimate surface cover fractions more accurately for individual measurements. Bowen ratios show an inverse relation with increasing vegetation cover both for a site and, more significant, between sites, as expected. Latent heat fluxes at the residential site were less dependent on short-term rainfall than at the grass site. Sensible heat fluxes were positively correlated with impervious surface cover and building intensity. These results are consistent with previous findings (focused mainly on differences between cities) and highlight the value of simple measures of land cover as predictors of spatial variations of urban climates both within and between urban areas.

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B. Offerle
,
P. Jonsson
,
I. Eliasson
, and
C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

Surface–atmosphere energy exchanges in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, located in the West African Sahel, were investigated during February 2003. Basic knowledge of the impact of land cover changes on local climate is needed to understand and forecast the impacts of rapid urbanization predicted for the region. Previously collected data showed a large dry season urban heat island (UHI), which dramatically decreased with the onset of the rainy season and corresponding changes to the natural land cover thermal and radiative properties. Observations of local-scale energy balance fluxes were made over a residential district, and building surface temperatures were measured in three separate locations. Net all-wave radiation showed an increase with urbanization owing to the higher albedo, lower heat capacity, and thermal conductivity of the bare dry soil compared to the urbanized surface. The combination of material and geometry resulted in a decrease in albedo toward the urban center. Despite the higher albedo, surface temperatures of bare undisturbed soil could exceed surface temperatures in the residential area and urban center by 15°–20°C due to differences in thermal characteristics. Turbulent heat exchange measured over a residential area was dominated by sensible heat flux. Latent heat fluxes were greater than expected from the amount of vegetation but in accordance with water use in the area. An urban land surface scheme reproduced fluxes in agreement with measurements. The results point toward an intensification of the dry season urban heat island in Ouagadougou, given increased urbanization.

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V. Masson
,
C. S. B. Grimmond
, and
T. R. Oke

Abstract

The Town Energy Balance (TEB) model of Masson simulates turbulent fluxes for urban areas. It is forced with atmospheric data and radiation recorded above roof level and incorporates detailed representations of the urban surface (canyon geometry) to simulate energy balances for walls, roads, and roofs. Here the authors evaluate TEB using directly measured surface temperatures and local-scale energy balance and radiation fluxes for two “simple” urban sites: a downtown area within the historic core of Mexico City, Mexico (stone buildings five to six stories in height), and a light industrial site in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (flat-roofed, single-story warehouses). At both sites, vegetation cover is less than 5%, which permits direct evaluation of TEB in the absence of a coupled vegetation scheme. Following small modifications to TEB, notably to the aerodynamic resistance formulations, the model is shown to perform well overall. In Mexico City, with deep urban canyons and stone walls, almost two-thirds of the net radiation is partitioned into storage heat flux during the day, and this maintains large heat releases and an upward turbulent sensible heat flux at night. TEB simulates all of these features well. At both sites TEB correctly simulates the net radiation, surface temperatures, and the partitioning between the turbulent and storage heat fluxes. The composite wall temperature simulated by TEB is close to the average of the four measured wall temperatures. A sensitivity analysis of model parameters shows TEB is fairly robust; for the conditions considered here, TEB is most sensitive to roof characteristics and incoming solar radiation.

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A. Lemonsu
,
C. S. B. Grimmond
, and
V. Masson

Abstract

The Town Energy Balance (TEB) model, which parameterizes the local-scale energy and water exchanges between urban surfaces and the atmosphere by treating the urban area as a series of urban canyons, coupled to the Interactions between Soil, Biosphere, and Atmosphere (ISBA) scheme, was run in offline mode for Marseille, France. TEB's performance is evaluated with observations of surface temperatures and surface energy balance fluxes collected during the field experiments to constrain models of atmospheric pollution and transport of emissions (ESCOMPTE)–urban boundary layer (UBL) campaign. Particular attention was directed to the influence of different surface databases, used for input parameters, on model predictions. Comparison of simulated canyon temperatures with observations resulted in improvements to TEB parameterizations by increasing the ventilation. Evaluation of the model with wall, road, and roof surface temperatures gave good results. The model succeeds in simulating a sensible heat flux larger than heat storage, as observed. A sensitivity comparison using generic dense city parameters, derived from the Coordination of Information on the Environment (CORINE) land cover database, and those from a surface database developed specifically for the Marseille city center shows the importance of correctly documenting the urban surface. Overall, the TEB scheme is shown to be fairly robust, consistent with results from previous studies.

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J. A. Salmond
,
T. R. Oke
,
C. S. B. Grimmond
,
S. Roberts
, and
B. Offerle

Abstract

Turbulent fluxes of carbon dioxide and sensible heat were observed in the surface layer of the weakly convective nocturnal boundary layer over the center of the city of Marseille, France, during the Expérience sur Sites pour Contraindre les Modèles de Pollution Atmosphérique et de Transport d’Emission (ESCOMPTE) field experiment in the summer of 2001. The data reveal intermittent events or bursts in the time series of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and air temperature that are superimposed upon the background values. These features relate to intermittent structures in the fluxes of CO2 and sensible heat. In Marseille, CO2 is primarily emitted into the atmosphere at street level from vehicle exhausts. In a similar way, nocturnal sensible heat fluxes are most likely to originate in the deep street canyons that are warmer than adjacent roof surfaces. Wavelet analysis is used to examine the hypothesis that CO2 concentrations can be used as a tracer to identify characteristics of the venting of pollutants and heat from street canyons into the above-roof nocturnal urban boundary layer. Wavelet analysis is shown to be effective in the identification and analysis of significant events and coherent structures within the turbulent time series. Late in the evening, there is a strong correlation between the burst structures observed in the air temperature and CO2 time series. Evidence suggests that the localized increases of temperature and CO2 observed above roof level in the urban boundary layer (UBL) are related to intermittent venting of sensible heat from the warmer urban canopy layer (UCL). However, later in the night, local advection of CO2 in the UBL, combined with reduced traffic emissions in the UCL, limit the value of CO2 as a tracer of convective plumes in the UBL.

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K. W. Oleson
,
G. B. Bonan
,
J. Feddema
,
M. Vertenstein
, and
C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

Urbanization, the expansion of built-up areas, is an important yet less-studied aspect of land use/land cover change in climate science. To date, most global climate models used to evaluate effects of land use/land cover change on climate do not include an urban parameterization. Here, the authors describe the formulation and evaluation of a parameterization of urban areas that is incorporated into the Community Land Model, the land surface component of the Community Climate System Model. The model is designed to be simple enough to be compatible with structural and computational constraints of a land surface model coupled to a global climate model yet complex enough to explore physically based processes known to be important in determining urban climatology. The city representation is based upon the “urban canyon” concept, which consists of roofs, sunlit and shaded walls, and canyon floor. The canyon floor is divided into pervious (e.g., residential lawns, parks) and impervious (e.g., roads, parking lots, sidewalks) fractions. Trapping of longwave radiation by canyon surfaces and solar radiation absorption and reflection is determined by accounting for multiple reflections. Separate energy balances and surface temperatures are determined for each canyon facet. A one-dimensional heat conduction equation is solved numerically for a 10-layer column to determine conduction fluxes into and out of canyon surfaces. Model performance is evaluated against measured fluxes and temperatures from two urban sites. Results indicate the model does a reasonable job of simulating the energy balance of cities.

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Duick T. Young
,
Lee Chapman
,
Catherine L. Muller
,
Xiao-Ming Cai
, and
C. S. B. Grimmond

Abstract

A wide range of environmental applications would benefit from a dense network of air temperature observations. However, with limitations of costs, existing siting guidelines, and risk of damage, new methods are required to gain a high-resolution understanding of spatiotemporal patterns of temperature for agricultural and urban meteorological phenomena such as the urban heat island. With the launch of a new generation of low-cost sensors, it is possible to deploy a network to monitor air temperature at finer spatial resolutions. This study investigates the Aginova Sentinel Micro (ASM) sensor with a custom radiation shield (together less than USD$150) that can provide secure near-real-time air temperature data to a server utilizing existing (or user deployed) Wi-Fi networks. This makes it ideally suited for deployment where wireless communications readily exist, notably urban areas. Assessment of the performance of the ASM relative to traceable standards in a water bath and atmospheric chamber show it to have good measurement accuracy with mean errors <±0.22°C between −25° and 30°C, with a time constant in ambient air of 110 ±15 s. Subsequent field tests also showed the ASM (in the custom shield) had excellent performance (RMSE = 0.13°C) over a range of meteorological conditions relative to a traceable operational Met Office platinum resistance thermometer. These results indicate that the ASM and radiation shield are more than fit for purpose for dense network deployment in environmental monitoring applications at relatively low cost compared to existing observation techniques.

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Sarah M. Roberts
,
T. R. Oke
,
C. S. B. Grimmond
, and
J. A. Voogt

Abstract

The relative performance of four independent methods to estimate the magnitude and diurnal behavior of net heat storage fluxes (ΔQS) in a city center is assessed. This heat flux is a significant but understudied component of the urban surface energy balance (SEB). Direct measurement of this SEB term at the local scale (horizontal length scale ∼102–104 m) is practically unattainable primarily because of the complex array of materials and the three-dimensionality of urban systems. Results of an 8-day summertime observational study at a site in the center of Marseille, France, are presented. This locale is an ideal environment for such research because of the warm, dry climate (hence the SEB is dominated by sensible heat exchanges) and the high density of tall buildings with thick walls (hence it has a large thermal mass that favors heat storage as a component of the SEB). Estimates of ΔQS derived as residuals in the SEB, after the remaining terms are measured directly, (termed RES) are compared with those calculated from a parameterization scheme [objective hysteresis model (OHM)], a local-scale numerical model [Town Energy Balance model (TEB)], and a bulk heat transfer method [thermal mass scheme (TMS)]. Inputs to the methods include observed meteorological data and morphometric properties of the urban site. All approaches yield a similar diurnal course. The OHM and TEB methods tend to slightly overestimate storage uptake by day when compared with the RES, whereas TMS slightly underestimates it. All methods underestimate heat storage release at night when compared with RES and show some sensitivity to wind speed, especially above about 5 m s−1. OHM estimates perform satisfactorily in the mean but miss short-term variability and are poor at night. TEB simulations show the best agreement with RES results, particularly at night. TMS values are comparable to those from the other methods, but its extensive input requirements render it almost impractical. Overall, the convergence of results is reassuring but the lack of a standard for quantifying heat storage and the spread of results mean this term remains a source of imprecision in urban energy balance measurement and modeling.

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Catherine L. Muller
,
Lee Chapman
,
C.S.B. Grimmond
,
Duick T. Young
, and
Xiao-Ming Cai

With the growing number and significance of urban meteorological networks (UMNs) across the world, it is becoming critical to establish a standard metadata protocol. Indeed, a review of existing UMNs indicate large variations in the quality, quantity, and availability of metadata containing technical information (i.e., equipment, communication methods) and network practices (i.e., quality assurance/quality control and data management procedures). Without such metadata, the utility of UMNs is greatly compromised. There is a need to bring together the currently disparate sets of guidelines to ensure informed and well-documented future deployments. This should significantly improve the quality, and therefore the applicability, of the high-resolution data available from such networks. Here, the first metadata protocol for UMNs is proposed, drawing on current recommendations for urban climate stations and identified best practice in existing networks.

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