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Potential influence of land development patterns on regional climate: a summer case study in the Central Florida


Two land development scenarios based on the Central Florida Regional Growth Vision projection for 2050 were used to explore the developments’ potential influence on regional climate. One scenario is a widespread suburban land development plan, and the other is a higher density urban development plan, both for the same location in central Florida. A series of simulation experiments were conducted using a regional climate model upgraded for this study to include an urban scheme. Noticeable differences in simulated regional climate patterns were found between the land development scenarios, which could potentially influence population requirements for energy and water. In our simulations, the aggregated effect of land cover changes over large suburban areas produced a more intense heat island effect than that produced by high-density urban areas.

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The authors want to thank Shelley Lauten, Director of, for allowing us to use material and information regarding 2050 projections for the central Florida region. The research was supported through grants from the USDA–NIFA (2011-67003-30210) and Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under grant CATER 2010-75 and developed under the auspices of the Southeast Climate Consortium (SECC). The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA, USDA, or any of their sub-agencies.

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Correspondence to D. W. Shin.

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Shin, D.W., Baigorria, G.A. Potential influence of land development patterns on regional climate: a summer case study in the Central Florida. Nat Hazards 62, 877–885 (2012).

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  • Urban heat island
  • Regional model
  • Land cover change
  • Regional climate change