Contribution of Urbanization to the Increase of Extreme Heat Events in an Urban Agglomeration in East China

TitleContribution of Urbanization to the Increase of Extreme Heat Events in an Urban Agglomeration in East China
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Number13
Pages6940-6950
Date Published07/2017
Abstract / Summary

The urban agglomeration of Yangtze River Delta (YRD) is emblematic of China's rapid urbanization during the past decades. Based on homogenized daily maximum and minimum temperature data, the contributions of urbanization to trends of summer extreme temperature indices (ETIs) in YRD are evaluated. Dynamically classifying the observational stations into urban and rural, this study presents unexplored changes in temperature extremes during the past four decades in YRD and quantifies the amplification of the positive trends in ETIs by the urban heat island effect. Overall, urbanization contributes to more than one third of the increase of intensity of extreme heat events in the region, which is comparable to the contribution of greenhouse gases. Compared to rural stations, more notable shifts to the right in the probability distribution of temperature and ETIs are found in urban stations. The rapid urbanization in YRD has resulted in large increases in the risk of heat extremes.

URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL074084/full
DOI10.1002/2017GL074084
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2017
Volume: 44
Number: 13
Pages: 6940-6950
Date Published: 07/2017

The urban agglomeration of Yangtze River Delta (YRD) is emblematic of China's rapid urbanization during the past decades. Based on homogenized daily maximum and minimum temperature data, the contributions of urbanization to trends of summer extreme temperature indices (ETIs) in YRD are evaluated. Dynamically classifying the observational stations into urban and rural, this study presents unexplored changes in temperature extremes during the past four decades in YRD and quantifies the amplification of the positive trends in ETIs by the urban heat island effect. Overall, urbanization contributes to more than one third of the increase of intensity of extreme heat events in the region, which is comparable to the contribution of greenhouse gases. Compared to rural stations, more notable shifts to the right in the probability distribution of temperature and ETIs are found in urban stations. The rapid urbanization in YRD has resulted in large increases in the risk of heat extremes.

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074084
Citation:
Yang, X, LR Leung, N Zhao, C Zhao, Y Qian, K Hu, X Liu, and B Chen.  2017.  "Contribution of Urbanization to the Increase of Extreme Heat Events in an Urban Agglomeration in East China."  Geophysical Research Letters 44(13): 6940-6950.  https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL074084.