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The extent and intensity of the urban heat island in Iași city, Romania

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The study underlines the characteristics of the urban heat island of Iași (Iași’s UHI) on the basis of 3 years of air temperature measurements obtained by fixed-point observations. We focus on the identification of UHI development and intensity as it is expressed by the temperature differences between the city centre and the rural surroundings. Annual, seasonal and daily characteristics of Iaşi’s UHI are investigated at the level of the classical weather observation. In brief, an intensity of 0.8 °C of UHI and a spatial extension which corresponds to the densely built area of the city were delineated. The Iaşi UHI is stronger during summer calm nights—when the inner city is warmer with 2.5–3 °C than the surroundings—and is weaker during windy spring days. The specific features of Iași’s UHI bear a profound connection to the specificity of the urban structure, the high atmospheric stability in the region and the local topography. Also, the effects of Iași’s UHI upon some environmental aspects are presented as study cases. For instance, under the direct influence of UHI, we have observed that in the city centre, the apricot tree blossoms earlier (with up to 4 days) and the depth of the snow cover is significantly lower (with up to 10 cm for a rural snow depth of 30 cm) than in the surrounding areas.

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The authors are deeply indebted to Costel Alexe for his financial contribution in achieving and installing data loggers for temperature and humidity observations in proper observational conditions. Also, the Department of Geography from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University is sincerely acknowledged for its continuous support on this research field. Also, for hosting the temperature shelters, we kindly thank Emil Racoviță College, Dalkia S.A., Water Direction Prut-Iași, Union Museum Iași and Melenciuc, Boian and Chiruță families. CEEX-IRIS grant is acknowledged for the ortho-photoplans used to analyse the built-up area. We thank also to all the students from Hydrology-Meteorology branch from the Faculty of Geography and Geology for their effort in monitoring the spring phenophases of the apricot tree. As well, we thank the reviewers for their constructive comments, which contributed to a significant improvement of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Lucian Sfîcă.

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Sfîcă, L., Ichim, P., Apostol, L. et al. The extent and intensity of the urban heat island in Iași city, Romania. Theor Appl Climatol 134, 777–791 (2018).

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