Climate Variability and Urbanization in Athens
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The effects of urbanization on the Athens National Observatory (NOA) long records are investigated, in the present study, examining the mean monthly maximum and minimum air temperature for the period 1925–1996, for NOA and the corresponding time series for Aliartos (ALI), a rural station located 70 km NW of Athens. The existing small urbanization effect in NOA before the second world war period increased after the war and up to about 1990, when the effect became stationary. The urbanization effect in NOA referred mainly to maximum temperature and to the warmer seasons of the year. It is attributed to the extensive building of Athens after the war around NOA site and up to the sea which increases the temperature of the sea breeze. The effect is also attributed to the rapid increase of the population and the number of motor vehicles mainly after 1970. Moreover the decreasing trend of precipitation during the period 1970–1990 may have contributed to the increase of maximum air temperature. The urbanization effect on maximum temperatures of NOA amounts about 2 °C in spring, summer and less in fall, while no urbanization effect is clear in winter.
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