Chapter

Meteorological and Air Quality Models for Urban Areas

pp 151-162

Date:

Model Urbanization Strategy: Summaries, Recommendations and Requirements

  • Alexander BaklanovAffiliated withDanish Meteorological Institute Email author 
  • , Jason ChingAffiliated withAtmospheric Modeling and Analysis Division, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • , C.S.B. GrimmondAffiliated withKing’s College London (KCL)
  • , Alberto MartilliAffiliated withCentro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y TecnolÓgicas(CIEMAT)

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Abstract

The urban canopy (UC), the layer of the atmosphere between the ground and the top of the highest buildings, is the region where people live and human activities take place. Because of this importance (e.g., human health, preservation of buildings) significant efforts have been dedicated to its investigation. Such studies shed light on the high complexity of atmospheric circulations in the UC, primarily because of the presence of obstacles (buildings) large enough to strongly modify air flow and the thermal exchanges between these surfaces and the atmosphere. The high level of heterogeneity of the UC has been a challenge for atmospheric modeling in urban areas, even for mesoscale models with a typical resolution of the order of 1 km; the basic characteristics of the perturbations induced by the obstacles still remaining unresolved at this model resolution. Over the last decade, with the increase of computational processing power, several mesoscale modeling systems, each with different urban canopy parameterization (UCP) schemes, have been developed and applied with the primary aim of representing the subgrid effects of urban surfaces on their mean variables.