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CR 76:1-15 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01522

Determination of the urban heat island intensity in villages and its connection to land cover in three European climate zones

Manuel Dienst1,*, Jenny Lindén2, Jan Esper1

1Department of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University, Johann-Joachim-Becherweg 21, 55128 Mainz, Germany
2IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Aschebergsgatan 44, 41133 Gothenburg, Sweden
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Although urban heat islands (UHIs) have been found in many cities throughout the world, work on smaller settlements is still limited, especially concerning variations connected to climate zones. Meteorological stations are often regarded as rural when located in a village or small town, and any temperature bias is assumed negligible. In this paper, we therefore present air temperature variations and their connection to land cover in 3 European villages, boreal Haparanda, temperate Geisenheim, and Mediterranean Cazorla, all of them hosting long temperature records that might be biased. The villages were equipped with temperature sensors, and the surrounding areas were digitized to compare UHI effects and to evaluate the contribution of land cover on local cooling and warming. This sensor network reveals significant village UHIs in all 3 climate zones, with seasonal maximum intensities decreasing from north (1.4°C) to south (0.9°C). During summer, urban warming is most emphasized in minimum temperatures in boreal Haparanda and temperate Geisenheim but weakest in Mediterranean Cazorla, presumably because of limited plant transpiration due to high insolation and drought stress. Urban warming is correlated with building density in all 3 settlements and shows little seasonal variation. Even though the mountain river passing Cazorla substantially cools ambient temperatures at distances <100 m, mitigation of warming through water bodies is limited in the Central and Northern European sites. Our results suggest to treat rural instrumental station data with care and to avoid using data recorded in villages as unbiased reference records to adjust measurements from larger cities.


KEY WORDS: Urban climate · Urban heat island · Village microclimates · Land cover · Rural stations


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Cite this article as: Dienst M, Lindén J, Esper J (2018) Determination of the urban heat island intensity in villages and its connection to land cover in three European climate zones. Clim Res 76:1-15. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01522

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