Skip to main content
Log in

Fine-scale spatial temperature patterns across a UK conurbation

  • Published:
Climatic Change Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The public health implications of a warming urban environment mean that appropriate action by planners, designers and health workers will be necessary to minimise risk under future climate scenarios. Data at an appropriate spatial scale are required by user groups in order to identify key areas of vulnerability. Thermal mapping of a UK urban conurbation was carried out during the summers of 2007 and 2008 with the aim of providing high spatial resolution temperature data. The air temperature results showed an average daytime (night time) urban–rural thermal contrast of 3°C (5°C) on summer days (nights) with ideal urban heat island (UHI) conditions. The intensity of the daytime surface temperature heat island was found to exceed 10°C. The measured data were used to derive an empirical model of spatial temperature patterns based upon characteristics of land use, distance from urban centre and building geometry. This model can be used to provide sub-kilometre resolution temperature data which are required by decision makers and can provide a mechanism for downscaling climate model output.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Best MJ (2005) Representing urban areas within operational numerical weather prediction models. Bound Layer Meteorol 114:91–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Beswick KM, Gallagher MW, Webb AR, Norton EG, Perry F (2008) Application of the Aventech AIMMS20AQ airborne probe for turbulence measurements during the Convective Storm Initiation Project. Atmos Chem Phys 8:5449–5463

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Briggs DJ, Denman AR, Gulliver J, Marley RF, Kennedy CA, Philips PS, Field K, Crockett RM (2003) Time activity modelling of domestic exposures to radon. J Environ Manage 67:107–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Department of Health (2001) Health effects of climate change in the UK. Department of Health Expert Group on Climate Change and Health in the UK, London

  • Essery RLH, Best MJ, Betts RA, Cox PM, Taylor CM (2003) Explicit representation of subgrid heterogeneity in a GCM land surface scheme. J Hydrometeorol 4:530–543

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gill SE, Handley JF, Ennos AR, Pauleit S (2007) Adapting cities for climate change: the role of the green infrastructure. Built Environ 33:115–133

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gill SE, Handley JF, Ennos AR, Pauleit S, Theuray N, Lindley SJ (2008) Characterising the urban environment of UK cities and towns: a template for landscape planning in a changing climate. Landsc Urban Plan 87:210–222

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grimmond CSB, Oke TR (1999) Aerodynamic properties of urban areas derived from analysis of surface form. J Appl Meteorol 38:1262–1292

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hulme M, Jenkins GJ, Lu X, Turnpenny JR, Mitchell TD, Jones RG, Lowe J, Murphy JM, Hassell D, Boorman P, McDonald R, Hill S (2002) Climate change scenarios for the United Kingdom: the UKCIP02 scientific report. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich

    Google Scholar 

  • Jenkins G, Perry M, Prior J (2009) The climate of the United Kingdom and recent trends. UKCIP, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Lader D, Hort S, Gershuny J (2006) The time use survey 2005. Office for National Statistics, London. Available from: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/articles/nojournal/time_use_2005.pdf. Accessed 07/01/2009

  • Landsberg HE (1981) The urban climate. Academic Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Larsen J (2006) Setting the record straight: more than 52000 Europeans died from heat in summer 2003. Earth Policy Institute, 2006. http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2006/Update56.htm

  • Levermore G, Chow D, Jones P, Lister D (2004) Accuracy of modelled extremes of temperature and climate change and its implications for the built environment in the UK. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Technical Report 14. http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/research/theme3/final_reports/it1_8.pdf

  • Lindley SJ, Handley JF, Theuray N, Peet E, McEvoy D (2006) Adaptation strategies for climate change in the urban environment: assessing climate change related risk in UK urban areas. J Risk Res 9:543–568

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mann ME, Schmidt GA (2003) Ground vs. surface air temperature trends: implications for borehole surface temperature reconstructions. Geophys Res Lett 30:1607–1611

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Matzarakis A, Mayer H, Iziomon MG (1999) Applications of a universal thermal index: physiological equivalent temperature. Int J Biometeorol 43:76–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McCarthy MP, Best MJ, Betts RA (2010) Climate change in cities due to global warming and urban effects. Geophys Res Letts 37:L09705

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McGeehin MA, Mirabelli M (2001) The potential impacts of climate variability and change on temperature-related morbidity and mortality in the United States. Environ Health Perspect 109:185–189

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meehl GA, Stocker TF, Collins WD, Friedlingstein P, Gaye AT, Gregory JM, Kitoh A, Knutti R, Murphy JM, Noda A, Raper SCB, Watterson IG, Weaver AJ, Zhao Z-C (2007) Global climate projections. In: Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Averyt KB, Tignor M, Miller HL (eds) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Office for National Statistics (2001) Census 2001. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/census2001.asp

  • Oke TR (1981) Canyon geometry and the nocturnal urban heat island: comparison of scale model and field observations. J Climatol 1:237–254

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Oke TR (1987) Boundary layer climates. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Patz JA, Campbell-Lendrum D, Holloway T, Foley JA (2005) Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature 438:310–317

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pointer G (2005) Focus on people and migration: the UK’s major urban areas. Office for National Statistics

  • Smith CL, Lindley SJ, Levermore GJ (2009) Estimating spatial and temporal patterns of urban anthropogenic heat fluxes for UK cities: the case of Manchester. Th. Appl. Climatol

  • United Nations (2003) World urbanization prospects: the 2003 revision. United Nations, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Watkins R, Palmer J, Kolokotroni M, Littelefair P (2002) The London heat island: results from summertime monitoring. Build Serv Eng Res Technol 23:97–106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilby RL, Troni J, Biot Y, Tedd L, Hewitson BC, Smith DG, Sutton RT (2009) A review of climate risk information for adaptation and development planning. Int J Clim 29:1193–1215

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Willows RI, Connell RK (eds) (2003) Climate adaptation: risk, uncertainty and decision-making. UKCIP technical report. UKCIP, Oxford

  • Yann W, Mikami T (2002) Temperature observed on the ground. J Geogr 111:695–710

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Claire L. Smith.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Smith, C.L., Webb, A., Levermore, G.J. et al. Fine-scale spatial temperature patterns across a UK conurbation. Climatic Change 109, 269–286 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0021-0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0021-0

Keywords

Navigation