Publication Abstracts

Goward 1981

Goward, S.N., 1981: Thermal behavior of urban landscapes and the urban heat island. Phys. Geogr., 2, 19-33.

The cause or causes of urban heat islands have puzzled scientists for more than a century. Investigators have oserved a close relation between urban land cover and urban temperature patterns. A proposed explanation of this relation is that the thermal inertia of urban surfaces is larger than rural thermal inertia. However, recent METROMEX and remote sensor satellite observations do not appear to support this view. The thermal inertia model of the urban interface ignores urban canopy structure and composition. Specifically the hollow structure of buildings reduces the thermal mass and thus the apparent thermal inertia of these structures compared with pavements. Numerical modeling results of the thermal behavior of a two-layer interface and aircraft far-infrared remote sensor observation of urban landscapes demonstrate the differential thermal behavior of buildings versus pavements. Accounting for the structure and configuration of urban canopies explains observed urban landscape thermal behavior and should assist in explaining the urban heat island phenomenon.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Goward, S. N.},
  title={Thermal behavior of urban landscapes and the urban heat island},
  journal={Physical Geography},

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RIS Citation

ID  - go03100m
AU  - Goward, S. N.
PY  - 1981
TI  - Thermal behavior of urban landscapes and the urban heat island
JA  - Phys. Geogr.
JO  - Physical Geography
VL  - 2
SP  - 19
EP  - 33
ER  -

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