Climatic impact of urbanization in Eastern China: modeling the combined urban heat island and aerosol effects

Friday, 19 December 2014: 5:00 PM
Yun Qian1, Ben Yang1, Chun Zhao2, L. Ruby Leung3, Huiping Yan4 and Jiwen Fan5, (1)Pacific Northwest Natl Lab, Richland, WA, United States, (2)PNNL / Climate Physics, Richland, WA, United States, (3)Pac NW National Lab, Richland, WA, United States, (4)PNNL, Richland, WA, United States, (5)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States
In this study we investigate the climatic impact of urbanization, including both Urban Heat Island (UHI) and aerosol effects, over the Yangtze-Delta metropolitan clusters region of Eastern China, based on a series of simulations with prescribed land use/land cover and emissions of aerosols and their precursors for the 2000s and 1970s , respectively. We conduct simulations for each land use/land cover and emission scenario from 2006-2010 using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, with online chemistry/aerosol and urban canopy models, at a 3-km grid spacing. Overall the model can reasonably capture the spatial pattern of temperature and precipitation as well as the phase of precipitation diurnal cycle in summer. Simulations results show a very clear UHI effect, i.e. expanded urban surface decreases surface latent heat flux, increases sensible heat flux and PBL height, and reduces surface wind over urban areas, with a more significant change in summer. Aerosol has much less obvious impact on local surface heat flux and temperature, but shows more remote impacts downwind due to dispersion and transport of pollutants and aerosol-cloud interaction. Aerosol also has a larger impact on precipitation amount and areal coverage than UHI. While UHI increases precipitation over urban regions during daytime especially when the southeasterly monsoonal flow prevails, aerosol remarkably suppresses precipitation, especially for light to moderate rain events, and increases the frequency of dry days in the entire model region.