Urbanization Effects on Human-Perceived Temperature Changes in the North China Plain

Feiyu Wang, Keqin Duan, Lei Zou
2019 Sustainability  
Urbanization and associated land use changes significantly alter the energy and radiation balance, land surface characteristics, and regional climates, posing challenges to natural ecosystems and human society. The combined effects of changes in air temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), and wind speed (WS) profoundly influence human-perceived temperature and the corresponding human thermal comfort, especially in urban areas with large population. This study analyzes the spatiotemporal
more » ... atiotemporal changes in human-perceived temperatures in the North China Plain, represented by heat index (HI) in summer and wind chill temperature (WCT) in winter, and quantifies the effects of urbanization on temperature changes, based on the observational data of 56 meteorological stations during 1976–2016. The results show a significant warming trend, with human-perceived temperatures increasing faster than T. The warming trend in WCT is higher than that in HI, indicating more thermal discomfort in summer and more thermal comfort in winter. However, the warming trend moderately slows after 1996, partly due to the global surface warming hiatus. Urban areas experience stronger warming trends than non-urban areas, demonstrating the notable effects of urbanization. For the entire study area, urbanization and associated urban land expansion accelerate the increase in HI by 26% and the increase in WCT by 17%.
doi:10.3390/su11123413 fatcat:zmh7czqm6nchpen3vjz4ryzvfa