This study examines the impact of land-use changes on local temperature for the Sydney area. The Weather Research and Forecasting model has been used to simulate the present (1990-2009) and future (2040-2059) climate of the region at 2-km spatial resolution. The standard land-use of the model was replaced with a more accurate dataset that covers the Sydney area. The projected changes in the urban area of Sydney were incorporated in the future-climate run.
The projections over areas where land-use is expected to change were compared with their surroundings to determine how the changes in land-use combine with global warming at local scales.
The analysis of the 2-m temperature diurnal cycle revealed that land-use changes severely affect minimum temperature in the future, whereas little impact is evident for maximum temperature. Indeed, minimum temperature increases over these areas could double the increase Due to global warming alone.
Seasonal temperature changes clearly differentiate areas with projected land-use changes. Minimum temperature differences are noticeable all through the year, but are especially marked during winter and spring.
Other variables such as the surface temperature were also explored to further characterise the effects of land-use changes.
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Last updated 31st January 2013