Climatic Change

, Volume 80, Issue 3–4, pp 265–276 | Cite as

Estimating the ecological footprint of the heat island effect over Athens, Greece

Original Article


Heat island is a very well documented climatic phenomenon that has an important energy and environmental impact in the urban environment. The main energy problems are related to the important increase of the energy consumption for cooling purposes as well as to the important increase of the peak electricity load. Heat island in Athens, Greece, is measured during the last decade and its energy impact is calculated in details. The aim of the present paper is to estimate the direct and indirect environmental impact of the heat island effect in Athens. This is achieved through the estimation of the additional ecological footprint caused by the urban heat island phenomenon over the city. The ecological footprint estimation is performed at a first step by calculating the increase of the cooling demand caused by the heat island over the whole city and then by translating the energy to environmental cost. Two years annual experimental data from many urban stations have been used. The results show that the ecological footprint because of the heat island ranges 1.5–2 times the city’s political area that have to be reserved every year to compensate the additional CO2 emissions caused by the presence of the heat island effect while the maximum potential ecological footprint, provided that all buildings are air conditioned, is almost 110,000 hectares.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Santamouris
    • 1
  • K. Paraponiaris
    • 1
  • G. Mihalakakou
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Division of Applied Physics, Laboratory of MeteorologyUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of Environmental & Natural Resources ManagementUniversity of IoanninaAgrinioGreece

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