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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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