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  1. Abstract

    Cool materials and rooftop vegetation help achieve urban heating mitigation as they can reduce building cooling demands. This study assesses the cooling potential of different mitigation technologies using Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)- taking case of a tropical coastal climate in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area. The model was validated using data from six meteorological sites. The cooling potential of eight mitigation scenarios was evaluated for: three cool roofs, four green roofs, and their combination (cool-city). The sensible heat, latent heat, heat storage, 2-m ambient temperature, surface temperature, air temperature, roof temperature, and urban canopy temperature was calculated. The effects on the urban boundary layer were also investigated.

    The different scenarios reduced the daytime temperature of various urban components, and the effect varied nearly linearly with increasing albedo and green roof fractions. For example, the maximum ambient temperature decreased by 3.6 °C, 0.9 °C, and 1.4 °C for a cool roof with 85% albedo, 100% rooftop vegetation, and their combination.

    The cost of different mitigation scenarios was assumed to depend on the construction options, location, and market prices. The potential for price per square meter and corresponding temperature decreased was related to one another. Recognizing the complex relationship between scenarios and construction options, themore »reduction in the maximum and minimum temperature across different cool and green roof cases were used for developing the cost estimates. This estimate thus attempted a summary of the price per degree of cooling for the different potential technologies.

    Higher green fraction, cool materials, and their combination generally reduced winds and enhanced buoyancy. The surface changes alter the lower atmospheric dynamics such as low-level vertical mixing and a shallower boundary layer and weakened horizontal convective rolls during afternoon hours. Although cool materials offer the highest temperature reductions, the cooling resulting from its combination and a green roof strategy could mitigate or reverse the summertime heat island effect. The results highlight the possibilities for heat mitigation and offer insight into the different strategies and costs for mitigating the urban heating and cooling demands.

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  2. Abstract The impact of climate extremes upon human settlements is expected to accelerate. There are distinct global trends for a continued rise in urban dwellers and associated infrastructure. This growth is occurring amidst the increasing risk of extreme heat, rainfall, and flooding. Therefore, it is critical that the urban development and architectural communities recognize climate impacts are expected to be experienced globally, but the cities and urban regions they help create are far more vulnerable to these extremes than nonurban regions. Designing resilient human settlements responding to climate change needs an integrated framework. The critical elements at play are climate extremes, economic growth, human mobility, and livability. Heightened public awareness of extreme weather crises and demands for a more moral climate landscape has promoted the discussion of urban climate change ethics. With the growing urgency for considering environmental justice, we need to consider a transparent, data-driven geospatial design approach that strives to balance environmental justice, climate, and economic development needs. Communities can greatly manage their vulnerabilities under climate extremes and enhance their resilience through appropriate design and planning towards long-term stability. A holistic picture of urban climate science is thus needed to be adopted by urban designers and planners asmore »a principle to guide urban development strategy and environmental regulation in the context of a growingly interdependent world.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Herein, we introduce a novel methodology to generate urban morphometric parameters that takes advantage of deep neural networks and inverse modeling. We take the example of Chicago, USA, where the Urban Canopy Parameters (UCPs) available from the National Urban Database and Access Portal Tool (NUDAPT) are used as input to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Next, the WRF simulations are carried out with Local Climate Zones (LCZs) as part of the World Urban Data Analysis and Portal Tools (WUDAPT) approach. Lastly, a third novel simulation, Digital Synthetic City (DSC), was undertaken where urban morphometry was generated using deep neural networks and inverse modeling, following which UCPs are re-calculated for the LCZs. The three experiments (NUDAPT, WUDAPT, and DSC) were compared against Mesowest observation stations. The results suggest that the introduction of LCZs improves the overall model simulation of urban air temperature. The DSC simulations yielded equal to or better results than the WUDAPT simulation. Furthermore, the change in the UCPs led to a notable difference in the simulated temperature gradients and wind speed within the urban region and the local convergence/divergence zones. These results provide the first successful implementation of the digital urban visualization dataset within anmore »NWP system. This development now can lead the way for a more scalable and widespread ability to perform more accurate urban meteorological modeling and forecasting, especially in developing cities. Additionally, city planners will be able to generate synthetic cities and study their actual impact on the environment.

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  4. Abstract The Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification is already widely used in urban heat island and other climate studies. The current classification method does not incorporate crucial urban auxiliary GIS data on building height and imperviousness that could significantly improve urban-type LCZ classification utility as well as accuracy. This study utilized a hybrid GIS- and remote sensing imagery-based framework to systematically compare and evaluate different machine and deep learning methods. The Convolution Neural Network (CNN) classifier outperforms in terms of accuracy, but it requires multi-pixel input, which reduces the output’s spatial resolution and creates a tradeoff between accuracy and spatial resolution. The Random Forest (RF) classifier performs best among the single-pixel classifiers. This study also shows that incorporating building height dataset improves the accuracy of the high- and mid-rise classes in the RF classifiers, whereas an imperviousness dataset improves the low-rise classes. The single-pass forward permutation test reveals that both auxiliary datasets dominate the classification accuracy in the RF classifier, while near-infrared and thermal infrared are the dominating features in the CNN classifier. These findings show that the conventional LCZ classification framework used in the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) can be improved by adopting building height and imperviousness information.more »This framework can be easily applied to different cities to generate LCZ maps for urban models.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  5. Abstract Amplified rates of urban convective systems pose a severe peril to the life and property of the inhabitants over urban regions, requiring a reliable urban weather forecasting system. However, the city scale's accurate rainfall forecast has constantly been a challenge, as they are significantly affected by land use/ land cover changes (LULCC). Therefore, an attempt has been made to improve the forecast of the severe convective event by employing the comprehensive urban LULC map using Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification from the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) over the tropical city of Bhubaneswar in the eastern coast of India. These LCZs denote specific land cover classes based on urban morphology characteristics. It can be used in the Advanced Research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (ARW) model, which also encapsulates the Building Effect Parameterization (BEP) scheme. The BEP scheme considers the buildings' 3D structure and allows complex land–atmosphere interaction for an urban area. The temple city Bhubaneswar, the capital of eastern state Odisha, possesses significant rapid urbanization during the recent decade. The LCZs are generated at 500 m grids using supervised classification and are ingested into the ARW model. Two different LULC dataset, i.e., Moderate Resolutionmore »Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and WUDAPT derived LCZs and initial, and boundary conditions from NCEP GFS 6-h interval are used for two pre-monsoon severe convective events of the year 2016. The results from WUDAPT based LCZ have shown an improvement in spatial variability and reduction in overall BIAS over MODIS LULC experiments. The WUDAPT based LCZ map enhances high-resolution forecast from ARW by incorporating the details of building height, terrain roughness, and urban fraction.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  7. Abstract

    This study aims to (i) prepare a premonsoon thunderstorms database, (ii) understand the thunderstorm frequency, duration and intensity and (iii) composite analysis of dynamic and thermodynamic processes related to thunderstorms over India. The thunderstorm associated rainfall varies across India. Hence, a percentile‐based approach is implemented with the integrated multi‐satellite retrievals for global precipitation measurement (IMERG) dataset at 0.1° resolution to identify thunderstorms for 2001–2021. The 93rd percentile appears to be better for thunderstorm detection, with a success ratio of 82% (642 events are confirmed out of 786 detected) in eastern India. Further analysis indicated that 84% of the detected thunderstorms in eastern and northeastern India are associated with lightning activity. Based on this long‐term (2001–2021) thunderstorm data, the highest frequency of thunderstorms (40–45 events·year−1) is observed over the western foothills of the Himalayas, the northeast region, and the west coast of Kerala. The thunderstorm duration in the eastern and northeastern regions and the southwest coast of India is mostly 0.5–2.5 h, producing heavy rainfall (>7 mm·h−1) due to more moisture content and stronger updrafts. The composite structure of thermodynamic indices exhibits significant spatial variations over India and can be used to differentiate the regions of high thunderstorm activity. The minimum (maximum) convectivemore »available potential energy (convective inhibition) value required for thunderstorm development is not uniform throughout the country. However, the composites of K index and total totals index during thunderstorms are mostly uniform. This study highlights the benefits of IMERG rainfall in thunderstorm detection over India and helps to understand the local forcings and the effect of thunderstorm activity on different sectors like aviation, agriculture and so forth.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 29, 2024
  8. Ecology and the climate provide two perspectives of the same biogeophysical system at all spatiotemporal scales More effectively embracing this congruence is an opportunity to improve scientific understanding and predictions as well as for a more effective policy that integrates both the bottom-up community, business-driven framework, and the popular, top-down impact assessment framework. The objective of this paper is, therefore, to more closely integrate the diverse spectrum of scientists, engineers and policymakers into finding optimal solutions to reduce the risk to environmental and social threats by considering the ecology and climate as an integrated system. Assessments such as performed towards the 2030 Plan for Sustainable Development, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and its Goal 13 in particular, can achieve more progress by accounting for the intimate connection of all aspects of the Earth’s biogeophysical system.
  9. Risks from human intervention in the climate system are raising concerns with respect to individual species and ecosystem health and resiliency. A dominant approach uses global climate models to predict changes in climate in the coming decades and then to downscale this information to assess impacts to plant communities, animal habitats, agricultural and urban ecosystems, and other parts of the Earth’s life system. To achieve robust assessments of the threats to these systems in this top-down, outcome vulnerability approach, however, requires skillful prediction, and representation of changes in regional and local climate processes, which has not yet been satisfactorily achieved. Moreover, threats to biodiversity and ecosystem function, such as from invasive species, are in general, not adequately included in the assessments. We discuss a complementary assessment framework that builds on a bottom-up vulnerability concept that requires the determination of the major human and natural forcings on the environment including extreme events, and the interactions between these forcings. After these forcings and interactions are identified, then the relative risks of each issue can be compared with other risks or forcings in order to adopt optimal mitigation/adaptation strategies. This framework is a more inclusive way of assessing risks, including climate variability andmore »longer-term natural and anthropogenic-driven change, than the outcome vulnerability approach which is mainly based on multi-decadal global and regional climate model predictions. We therefore conclude that the top-down approach alone is outmoded as it is inadequate for robustly assessing risks to biodiversity and ecosystem function. In contrast the bottom-up, integrative approach is feasible and much more in line with the needs of the assessment and conservation community. A key message of our paper is to emphasize the need to consider coupled feedbacks since the Earth is a dynamically interactive system. This should be done not just in the model structure, but also in its application and subsequent analyses. We recognize that the community is moving toward that goal and we urge an accelerated pace.« less
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024