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CR 15:123-135 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/cr015123

The tale of two climates‹Baltimore and Phoenix urban LTER sites

Anthony Brazel1,*, Nancy Selover1, Russell Vose1, Gordon Heisler2

1Department of Geography and Office of Climatology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287-0104, USA
2US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, 5 Moon Library, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, New York 13210, USA

ABSTRACT: Two Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites now include urban areas (Baltimore, Maryland and Phoenix, Arizona). A goal of LTER in these cities is to blend physical and social science investigations to better understand urban ecological change. Research monitoring programs are underway to investigate the effects of urbanization on ecosystems. Climate changes in these urban areas reflect the expanding population and associated land surface modifications. Long-term urban climate effects are detectable from an analysis of the GHCN (Global Historical Climate Network) database and a comparison of urban versus rural temperature changes with decadal population data. The relation of the urban versus rural minimum temperatures (Tminu-r) to population changes is pronounced and non-linear over time for both cities. The Tmaxu-r data show no well-defined temporal trends.

KEY WORDS: Long-Term Ecological Research · Urban climate · GHCN temperature time series · Baltimore · Phoenix · Land use · Land cover

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