Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 87, Issue 1–4, pp 213–221 | Cite as

Temporal characteristics of the Beijing urban heat island

  • W. Liu
  • C. Ji
  • J. Zhong
  • X. Jiang
  • Z. Zheng


This paper describes the inter-annual trend, and the seasonal and hourly variation of the near surface urban heat island (UHI) in Beijing. The surface air temperature data (mean, maximum, and minimum) from one urban (downtown Beijing) and one rural (70 km from downtown Beijing) station were used for the period 1977 and 2000. It is found that the temperatures in both urban and rural stations show an increasing tendency. Specifically, minimum temperature shows the greatest tendency at the urban station whereas maximum temperature shows the greatest increase at the rural station. The UHI intensity obtained by calculating the difference in temperatures between the two stations identifies that the intensity is greatest and has the greatest increasing trend for minimum temperature, while the UHI intensity of maximum temperature shows a slow decrease over time. UHI intensity for minimum temperature has a strong positive correlation with the increase in the urban population and the expansion of the yearly construction area. Seasonal analyses showed the UHI intensity is strongest in winter. This seasonal UHI variation tends to be negatively correlated with the seasonal variation of relative humidity and vapor pressure. Hourly variation reveals that the strongest UHI intensity is observed in the late nighttime or evening, while the weakest is observed during the day.


Urban Heat Island Atmos Environ Urban Surface Rural Station Urban Heat Island Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Liu
    • 1
  • C. Ji
    • 2
  • J. Zhong
    • 1
  • X. Jiang
    • 1
  • Z. Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Meteorological ObservatoryChina

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