Zhang, N; Gao, ZQ; Wang, XM; Chen, Y (2010). Modeling the impact of urbanization on the local and regional climate in Yangtze River Delta, China. THEORETICAL AND APPLIED CLIMATOLOGY, 102(4-Mar), 331-342.
The Yangtze River Delta Economic Belt is one of the most active and developed areas in China and has experienced quick urbanization with fast economic development. The weather research and forecasting model (WRF), with a single-layer urban canopy parameterization scheme, is used to simulate the influence of urbanization on climate at local and regional scales in this area. The months January and July, over a 5-year period (2003-2007), were selected to represent the winter and summer climate. Two simulation scenarios were designed to investigate the impacts of urbanization: (1) no urban areas and (2) urban land cover determined by MODIS satellite observations in 2005. Simulated near-surface temperature, wind speed and specific humidity agree well with the corresponding measurements. By comparing the simulations of the two scenarios, differences in near-surface temperature, wind speed and precipitation were quantified. The conversion of rural land (mostly irrigation cropland) to urban land cover results in significant changes to near-surface temperature, humidity, wind speed and precipitation. The mean near-surface temperature in urbanized areas increases on average by 0.45 +/- 0.43A degrees C in winter and 1.9 A +/- 0.55A degrees C in summer; the diurnal temperature range in urbanized areas decreases on average by 0.13 A +/- 0.73A degrees C in winter and 0.55 A +/- 0.84A degrees C in summer. Precipitation increases about 15% over urban or leeward areas in summer and changes slightly in winter. The urbanization impact in summer is stronger and covers a larger area than that in winter due to the regional east-Asian monsoon climate characterized by warm, wet summers and cool, dry winters.