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Impact of land cover data on the simulation of urban heat island for Berlin using WRF coupled with bulk approach of Noah-LSM

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Abstract

Urban-rural difference of land cover is the key determinant of urban heat island (UHI). In order to evaluate the impact of land cover data on the simulation of UHI, a comparative study between up-to-date CORINE land cover (CLC) and Urban Atlas (UA) with fine resolution (100 and 10 m) and old US Geological Survey (USGS) data with coarse resolution (30 s) was conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) coupled with bulk approach of Noah-LSM for Berlin. The comparison between old data and new data partly reveals the effect of urbanization on UHI and the historical evolution of UHI, while the comparison between different resolution data reveals the impact of resolution of land cover on the simulation of UHI. Given the high heterogeneity of urban surface and the fine-resolution land cover data, the mosaic approach was implemented in this study to calculate the sub-grid variability in land cover compositions. Results showed that the simulations using UA and CLC data perform better than that using USGS data for both air and land surface temperatures. USGS-based simulation underestimates the temperature, especially in rural areas. The longitudinal variations of both temperature and land surface temperature show good agreement with urban fraction for all the three simulations. To better study the comprehensive characteristic of UHI over Berlin, the UHI curves (UHIC) are developed for all the three simulations based on the relationship between temperature and urban fraction. CLC- and UA-based simulations show smoother UHICs than USGS-based simulation. The simulation with old USGS data obviously underestimates the extent of UHI, while the up-to-date CLC and UA data better reflect the real urbanization and simulate the spatial distribution of UHI more accurately. However, the intensity of UHI simulated by CLC and UA data is not higher than that simulated by USGS data. The simulated air temperature is not dominated by the land cover as much as the land surface temperature, as air temperature is also affected by air advection.

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Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the China Scholarship Council and FUBright Mobility Allowances for Research Stays promoted by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)-Dahlem Research School of Freie Universität Berlin. The authors thank the Beijing Office of Freie Universität Berlin. Special thanks go to David Mottram for proofreading this manuscript and to Dr. Hamid Taheri Shahraiyni for help in processing remote sensing data.

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Correspondence to Sahar Sodoudi.

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Li, H., Wolter, M., Wang, X. et al. Impact of land cover data on the simulation of urban heat island for Berlin using WRF coupled with bulk approach of Noah-LSM. Theor Appl Climatol 134, 67–81 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2253-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-017-2253-z

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