Increasing Heat Island Effect’s Influence on Urban Temperature Records Introduces Bias in Climate Studies

When it comes to human-caused climate change, urban warming is a big player.

Sourced through from:

>”Perhaps no other climatic variable receives more attention in the debate over CO2-induced global warming than temperature. Its forecast change over time in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations is the typical measure by which climate models are compared. It is also the standard by which the climate model projections tend to be judged; right or wrong, the correctness of global warming theory is most often adjudicated by comparing model projections of temperature against real-world measurements. And in such comparisons, it is critical to have a proper baseline of good data; but that is easier acknowledged than accomplished, as multiple problems and potential inaccuracies have been identified in even the best of temperature data sets.

One particular issue in this regard is the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon by which urban structures artificially warm background air temperatures above what they normally would be in a non-urbanized environment. The urban influence on a given station’s temperature record can be quite profound. In large cities, for example, urban-induced heating can be as great as Tokyo’s 10°C, making it all the more difficult to detect and discern a CO2-induced global warming signal in the temperature record, especially since the putative warming of non-urbanized areas of the planet over the past century is believed to be less than 1°C.  Yet, because nearly all long-term temperature records have been obtained from sensors initially located in towns and cities that have experienced significant growth over the past century, it is extremely important that urbanization-induced warming – which can be a full order of magnitude greater than the background trend being sought – be removed from the original temperature records when attempting to accurately assess the true warming (or cooling!) of the natural non-urban environment. A new study by Founda et al. (2015) suggests this may not be so simple or straightforward a task.

Working with temperature records in and around the metropolitan area of Athens, Greece, Founda et al. set out to examine the interdecadal variability of the urban heat island (UHI) effect, since “few studies focus on the temporal variability of UHI intensity over long periods.” Yet, as they note, “knowledge of the temporal variability and trends of UHI intensity is very important in climate change studies, since [the] urban effect has an additive effect on long term air temperature trends.”


Such findings as these are of significant relevance in climate change studies, for they clearly indicate the UHI influence on a temperature record is not static. It changes over time and is likely inducing an ever-increasing warming bias on the temperature record, a bias that will only increase as the world’s population continues to urbanize in the years and decades ahead. Consequently, unless researchers routinely identify and remove this growing UHI influence from the various temperature data bases used in global change studies, there will likely be a progressive overestimation of the influence of the radiative effects of rising CO2 on the temperature record. “<

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News


Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach

“There are really two definitions of green infrastructure. One is an inter-connected network of green open spaces that provide a range of ecosystem services — from clean air and water to wildlife habitat and carbon sinks. The other is a more limited one promoted by the E.P.A.: small-scale green systems designed to be urban stormwater management infrastructure. In either definition, green infrastructure is about bringing together “natural and built environments” and using the “landscape as infrastructure,” said Rouse. […]”


Green infrastructure is starting to mean different things to different people, said David Rouse, ASLA, a landscape architect and planner at Wallace, Roberts & Todd (WRT) during a session at the American Planning Association (APA) conference in Chicago. Rouse was there with Theresa Schwarz, Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative; Karen Walz, Strategic Community Solutions; and Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, FASLA, a landscape architect with WRT, who together co-authored a new book published by APA called Green Infrastructure: A Landscape Approach.

There are really two definitions of green infrastructure. One is an inter-connected network of green open spaces that provide a range of ecosystem services — from clean air and water to wildlife habitat and carbon sinks. The other is a more limited one promoted by the E.P.A.: small-scale green systems designed to be urban stormwater management infrastructure. In either definition, green infrastructure is about bringing together “natural and…

View original post 1,297 more words

School to Combine Solar PV Modules with Battery Storage in Belgian Pilot Project

“Such an energy storage and distribution system can offer a great value, certainly for schools”, says Bert Dekeyzer of npo iD, the organization behind the ‘School of the Future’.


>'”During weekends a school consumes almost no electricity. The energy produced by the solar panels is stored in the batteries. On Monday morning there is a peak consumption: then all the computers and machines are turned on, which requires quite a lot of electricity. If the solar panels supply too little at that time, the batteries can provide the remaining energy. Moreover, a study showed that the energy consumption of a school does not stop after four o’clock in the afternoon. Schools are increasingly used in the evening for sports activities and evening classes. Also in this situation, the batteries can play their part.”

PV, storage combination offers a solution for a possible power shortage

In addition to an optimal and economic usage of solar power, the system can provide a solution for a possible power shortage in Belgium. Because of problems with the Belgian nuclear power plants, various municipalities could get disconnected from the electricity grid. In case of a power disruption, a traditional solar installation does not work anymore. The inverter of a traditional system switches off automatically because of a power failure. The owners of solar modules also have no electricity at that time, and in addition they suffer losses of the power output and any feed-in tariffs from their solar panels during the outage.

The storage system provides a solution. Such an installation combines solar modules with battery storage and intelligent software: if the grid fails, the system provides uninterrupted power for the user from the solar modules and/or batteries. […]”<


See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

India’s First LEED’s Green Building targets “Net Zero” with High Efficiency Solar Power

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

New Delhi, India (SPX) Sep 19, 2013 – SunPower has announced that Swadeshi Civil Infrastructure has completed the installation of a 930-kilowatt (kW) SunPower solar system on the rooftop of the Indira Paryavaran Bhavan building…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The state-of-the art landmark will be India’s first net zero energy building. Its design emphasizes conservation featuring trees to reduce adverse environmental impact, adequate natural light and shaded landscaped areas to reduce ambient temperature.

The building is targeted to achieve Platinum from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system, known as LEED INDIA. It also is expected to receive a five star Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment from the rating system developed by the Energy and Resource Institute and supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the nodal ministry of Indian government.<

See on

Cambridge Plans Massive Energy Efficiency Retrofit

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

This medieval English city is investing $1.5 billion for energy upgrades for the entire city.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>It’s one thing to build super-energy-efficient new homes and offices – it’s another matter entirely to bring ancient buildings up to par. But the medieval university city of Cambridge, England, plans to do just that with a $1.5 billion retrofit program.

The newly launched Cambridge Retrofit Project aims to reduce carbon emissions from buildings 30% before 2050 through a massive, city-wide retrofit scheme.  […]

While the primary goal is reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, the program also aims to build up local businesses, create warmer homes and increase the value of properties.

Energy savings alone are expected to be worth $2.3 billion and the city’s carbon footprint, currently 830,000 tons a year, is expected to fall 1% a year, eventually reaching 500,000 tons a year as a result of the retrofit program.<

See on

Scientists Adding Color to Solar Panels

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

If you have noticed the design and layout of solar panels around, you would have thought a minute or two about its aesthetics. Though not too bad, the dark

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The Institute is developing a SIS (semiconductor-insulator-semiconductor) variety solar panel. The package consists of a silicon substrate which absorbs light and converts it into electricity.[…]

The change in color does not make solar cells less efficient. The cell’s working is also not affected by the thickness of the conductive oxide layer. The SIS cell has the same simulated efficiency of around 20%.

The technology might later on use a type of inkjet printing that deposits the oxide layer with more flexibility, which would allow complex designs too. With this, solar cells could turn out to be part of beautiful architectural designs in future.<

See on

Green Building Taking Off in Hospitality, Retail Industries

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Green building is taking off in the hospitality and retail industries, […]  This year, retail owners that are building green for over half of their projects rose to 38%, up from just 18% in 2011. That’s expected to rise to 52% by 2015.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>”Green building has taken such hold in the industry that even sectors with unique challenges, such as retail and hospitality, are making stronger investments,” says Harvey Bernstein, vice president at McGraw Hill Construction. “Clearly the benefits that owners are reporting are key reasons for their green building investments, and as they find better ways to measure those impacts and quantify the value to their sales velocity and to the well-being of their staff, customers and guests, we expect even more rapid engagement in green.”

While lower operating costs are the most frequently reported reason for going green (66% of retailers, 73% of hotels), other factors are also considered very important in their decision-making process:

Utility rebates – Protecting/enhancing brand – just as important as costs for hotels

Improving ROI  […]Energy efficiency is still a key goal, recycling and waste management are also critically important. A strong majority say they require green practices from suppliers, especially on waste handling (75%). <

See on