Original paper

The dependence of the urban heat island intensity on latitude A statistical approach

Wienert, Uwe; Kuttler, Wilhelm

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 14 No. 5 (2005), p. 677 - 686

published: Oct 10, 2005

DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2005/0069

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ArtNo. ESP025011405010, Price: 29.00 €

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Abstract

The question about a possible dependence of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) on latitude and its causes has not been solved satisfactorily up to now. This paper tries to give an answer to the problem by extracting the UHI of cities on a global scale from the available international scientific literature and treating them with various statistical methods. In addition parameters like the city population, use of primary energy, topographic features, height above sea level and the energy balance of the earth's surface are included into the statistical calculations in order to substantiate a latitudinal variation of the UHI. Three main results could be derived from the statistical examinations, namely: 1. The UHI shows a trend to increase from low to high latitudes 2. The part of the observed variance of the UHI explained by its latitudinal variation, however, remains relatively small with about 6 %. 3. A statistically significant dependence of the UHI on latitude is based mainly on the latitudinal variation of anthropogenic heat production and radiation balance.