Urbanisation is estimated to result in 6 billion urban dwellers by 2050. Cities will be exposed to climate change from greenhouse gas induced radiative forcing, and localised effects from urbanisation such as the urban heat island. An urban land-surface model has been included in the HadAM3 Global Climate Model. It shows that regions of high population growth coincide with regions of high urban heat island potential, most notably in the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, and East Africa. Climate change has the capacity to modify the climatic potential for urban heat islands, with increases of 30% in some locations, but a global average reduction of 6%. Warming and extreme heat events due to urbanisation and increased energy consumption are simulated to be as large as the impact of doubled CO2 in some regions, and climate change increases the disparity in extreme hot nights between rural and urban areas.
McCarthy, M. P., Best, M. J., & Betts, R. A. (2010). Climate change in cities due to global warming and urban effects. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(9), 1-5. AGU.
Source: Geophysical Research Letters
Publication Date: May 2010