Assessing heat exposure to extreme temperatures in urban areas using the Local Climate Zone classification

Gilabert, Joan; Deluca, Anna; Lauwaet, Dirk; Ballester, Joan; Corbera, Jordi; Llasat, Maria Carmen

Trends of extreme-temperature episodes in cities are increasing (in frequency, magnitude and duration) due to regional climate change in interaction with urban effects. Urban morphologies and thermal properties of the materials used to build them are factors that influence spatial and temporal climate variability and are one of the main reasons for the climatic singularity of cities. This paper presents a methodology to evaluate the urban and peri-urban effect on extreme-temperature exposure in Barcelona (Spain), using the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification as a basis, which allows a comparison with other cities of the world characterised using this criterion. LCZs were introduced as input of the high-resolution UrbClim model (100 m spatial resolution) to create daily temperature (median and maximum) series for summer (JJA) during the period 1987 to 2016, pixel by pixel, in order to create a cartography of extremes. Using the relationship between mortality due to high temperatures and temperature distribution, the heat exposure of each LCZ was obtained. Methodological results of the paper show the improvement obtained when LCZs were mapped through a combination of two techniques (land cover–land use maps and the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools – WUDAPT – method), and the paper proposes a methodology to obtain the exposure to high temperatures of different LCZs in urban and peri-urban areas. In the case of Barcelona, the distribution of temperatures for the 90th percentile (about 3–4 inline-formulaC above the average conditions) leads to an increase in the relative risk of mortality of 80 %.

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Gilabert, Joan / Deluca, Anna / Lauwaet, Dirk / et al: Assessing heat exposure to extreme temperatures in urban areas using the Local Climate Zone classification. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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