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The summer surface urban heat island of Bucharest (Romania) retrieved from MODIS images

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The summer surface urban heat island (SUHI) of the city of Bucharest (Romania) is investigated in terms of its shape, intensity, extension and links to land cover. The study employs land surface temperature (LST) data retrieved by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors aboard the Terra (EOS AM-1) and Aqua (EOS PM-1) NASA satellites, between 2000 and 2012. Based on the Rodionov regime shift index, the significant changing points in the land surface temperature values along transverse profiles crossing the city’s centre were considered as SUHI’s limits. The thermal difference between the SUHI and several surrounding buffers defines the SUHI’s intensity. The night-time SUHI’s geometry is more regular, and its intensity is slightly lower than during the day, while the land cover exerts a strong influence on Bucharest’s LST. In summary, the study proposes a methodology to delimit and quantify the average SUHI based on the statistical significance of the shift between the urban area and its surroundings, and the limitations of the method are mentioned.

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The authors would like to warmly acknowledge Sergiu Ioan (National Meteorological Administration, Bucharest) and Sam Hardy (University of Manchester) for their support in improving the English used in this paper and Prof. Dr. Eng. Dan Constantinescu, for his long-term encouragement and highly competent suggestions regarding urban climate research. We also thank to the two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Sorin Cheval.

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Supplementary Figure

Daytime (A.) and nighttime (B.) SUHI limits for each summer month and aggregated (DOC 45 kb)

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Cheval, S., Dumitrescu, A. The summer surface urban heat island of Bucharest (Romania) retrieved from MODIS images. Theor Appl Climatol 121, 631–640 (2015).

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