Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 131, Issue 1–2, pp 227–243 | Cite as

The influence of urban heat island phenomenon on PM concentration: an observation study during the summer half-year in metropolitan Taipei, Taiwan

  • Li-Wei LaiEmail author
Original Paper


Air circulation due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect can influence the dispersion of air pollutants in a metropolis. This study focusses on the influence of the UHI effect on particulate matter (PM; including PM2.5 and PM2.5–10) between May and September 2010–2012 in the Taipei basin. Meteorological and PM data were obtained from the sites, owned by the governmental authorities. The analysis was carried out using t test, relative indices (RIs), Pearson product–moment correlation and stepwise regression. The results show that the RI values for PM were the highest at moderate UHI intensity (MUI; 2 °C ≤ UHI < 4 °C) rather than at strong UHI intensity (SUI; 4 °C ≤ UHI) during the peak time for anthropogenic emissions (20:00 LST). Neither the accumulation of PM nor the surface convergence occurred in the hot centre, as shown by the case study. At MUI, more than 89 % of the synoptic weather patterns showed that the weather was clear and hot or that the atmosphere was stable. The variation in PM was associated with horizontal and vertical air dispersion. Poor horizontal air dispersion, with subsidence, caused an increase in PM at MUI. However, the updraft motion diluted the PM at SUI. The stepwise regression models show that the cloud index and surface air pressure determined the variation in PM2.5–10, while cloud index, wind speed and mixing height influenced the variation in PM2.5. In conclusion, a direct relationship between UHI effect and PM was not obvious.



The authors are grateful to the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration, the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau, the Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute, and the Data Bank for Atmospheric Research for providing meteorological and particulate matter data.

Supplementary material

704_2016_1975_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1562 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for General EducationNational Taipei University of BusinessTaipeiRepublic of China

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