Climate Change Meets Urban Environment

  • Harindra Joseph S. FernandoEmail author
  • R. Dimitrova
  • S. Sentic
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The effects of global warming permeate to local scales in numerous ways, and at times the adverse effects of global change are amplified by urban anthropogenic activities. These local climate influences, however, have not received due attention as current climate discourse mainly focuses on global scales. In this paper, a brief overview is presented on how urban areas bear the brunt of global climate change, in particular, how such climatic signals as sea level rise, desertification, adjustment of hydrological cycle and enhanced cloud cover can have significant repercussions on local climate, thus raising human health and national security concerns. The reduction of diurnal temperature range (DTR) with global warming and its further amplification with urbanization are used as examples to illustrate local impacts of climate change. The possible amplification of urban heat island may even lead to local meteorological regime shifts, which have an important bearing on sustainability of cities. Meteorological variables are related to air pollution, and the relationship between particulate matter and meteorological variables in Phoenix area is used to illustrate possible relationships between human health and climate change.


Urban-global climate interactions Heat island Diurnal temperature range Human health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harindra Joseph S. Fernando
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Dimitrova
    • 1
  • S. Sentic
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratories, Departments of Civil Engineering & Geological Sciences and Aerospace & Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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