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

1. Introduction Urban ecosystems can significantly alter the radiative, thermal, moisture, and aerodynamic characteristics of the land surface ( Landsberg 1981 ; Oke 1987 ; Bonan 2002 ; Arnfield 2003 ). As a consequence of these changes, urban climates can differ significantly from surrounding natural ecosystems, often resulting in urban heat islands (e.g., Landsberg 1981 ). The simulation of urban climate impacts requires two major components: 1) the representation of the physical

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

, and thermal parameters. Such studies inform efforts to develop a global urban database. We also demonstrate the model’s ability to simulate observed general characteristics of urban heat islands. More evaluations are clearly needed. Future work is planned to test and refine the current model for other urban sites (e.g., Grimmond and Oke 2002 ; Lemonsu et al. 2004 ). Another potentially useful evaluation tool is an urban model intercomparison exercise such as that suggested by Masson (2006) . As

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