Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 1143–1153 | Cite as

Detecting urban warming signals in climate records

  • Yuting He (何宇婷)
  • Gensuo Jia (贾根锁)
  • Yonghong Hu (胡永红)
  • Zijiang Zhou (周自江)


Determining whether air temperatures recorded at meteorological stations have been contaminated by the urbanization process is still a controversial issue at the global scale. With support of historical remote sensing data, this study examined the impacts of urban expansion on the trends of air temperature at 69 meteorological stations in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province over the last three decades. There were significant positive relations between the two factors at all stations. Stronger warming was detected at the meteorological stations that experienced greater urbanization, i.e., those with a higher urbanization rate. While the total urban area affects the absolute temperature values, the change of the urban area (urbanization rate) likely affects the temperature trend. Increases of approximately 10% in urban area around the meteorological stations likely contributed to the 0.13°C rise in air temperature records in addition to regional climate warming. This study also provides a new approach to selecting reference stations based on remotely sensed urban fractions. Generally, the urbanization-induced warming contributed to approximately 44.1% of the overall warming trends in the plain region of study area during the past 30 years, and the regional climate warming was 0.30°C (10 yr)−1 in the last three decades.

Key words

urbanization air temperature climate change remote sensing 


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Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuting He (何宇婷)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gensuo Jia (贾根锁)
    • 1
  • Yonghong Hu (胡永红)
    • 3
  • Zijiang Zhou (周自江)
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Earth Observation and Digital EarthChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Climatic Data Center, National Meteorological Information CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina

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