Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 126, Issue 1–2, pp 51–60 | Cite as

Investigation of the impact of anthropogenic heat flux within an urban land surface model and PILPS-urban

  • M. J. Best
  • C. S. B. Grimmond
Original Paper


Results from the first international urban model comparison experiment (PILPS-Urban) suggested that models which neglected the anthropogenic heat flux within the surface energy balance performed at least as well as models that include the source term, but this could not be explained. The analyses undertaken show that the results from PILPS-Urban were masked by the signal from including vegetation, which was identified in PILPS-Urban as being important. Including the anthropogenic heat flux does give improved performance, but the benefit is small for the site studied given the relatively small magnitude of this flux relative to other terms in the surface energy balance. However, there is no further benefit from including temporal variations in the flux at this site. The importance is expected to increase at sites with a larger anthropogenic heat flux and greater temporal variations.


Anthropogenic heat JULES Surface energy balance Urban environment 



M. Best was supported by the Joint DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (CA01101). Grimmond acknowledges support from Newton Fund/Met Office CSSP-China. Funds to support PILPS-Urban were provided by the Met Office (P001550). We would like to thank Andrew Coutts, Jason Beringer and Nigell Tapper for allowing their data to be used for the comparison. We would also like to thank Maggie Hendry and Mariana Gouvea for undertaking the JULES simulations for PILPS-Urban and everyone else who contributed model simulations to the comparison.


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Copyright information

© Crown Copyright 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ExeterUK
  2. 2.Department of GeographyKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of MeteorologyUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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