Different Patterns of the Urban Heat Island Intensity from Cluster Analysis

Monday, 15 December 2014
Fernanda Batista Silva and Karla Longo, INPE National Institute for Space Research, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil
This study analyzes the different variability patterns of the Urban Heat Island intensity (UHII) in the Metropolitan Area of Rio de Janeiro (MARJ), one of the largest urban agglomerations in Brazil. The UHII is defined as the difference in the surface air temperature between the urban/suburban and rural/vegetated areas. To choose one or more stations that represent those areas we used the technique of cluster analysis on the air temperature observations from 14 surface weather stations in the MARJ. The cluster analysis aims to classify objects based on their characteristics, gathering similar groups. The results show homogeneity patterns between air temperature observations, with 6 homogeneous groups being defined. Among those groups, one might be a natural choice for the representative urban area (Central station); one corresponds to suburban area (Afonsos station); and another group referred as rural area is compound of three stations (Ecologia, Santa Cruz and Xerém) that are located in vegetated regions. The arithmetic mean of temperature from the three rural stations is taken to represent the rural station temperature. The UHII is determined from these homogeneous groups. The first UHII is estimated from urban and rural temperature areas (Case 1), whilst the second UHII is obtained from suburban and rural temperature areas (Case 2). In Case 1, the maximum UHII occurs in two periods, one in the early morning and the other at night, while the minimum UHII occurs in the afternoon. In Case 2, the maximum UHII is observed during afternoon/night and the minimum during dawn/early morning. This study demonstrates that the stations choice reflects different UHII patterns, evidencing that distinct behaviors of this phenomenon can be identified.