Local climate change: Assessing the impact and mitigating the heat

The main characteristics of the local climatic change and, in particular, of the urban heat island phenomenon. The implications of the urban heat island on energy consumption in buildings, and on the indoor and outdoor environmental quality and health. The actual research and the existing application aiming to develop and apply mitigation technologies to counterbalance the urban temperature increase and its impact on man

Local climate change
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by M. Santamouris, Group Building Environmental Studies, Physics Department - University of Athens

DOI 10.12910/EAI2016-034


The urban heat island is the most documented phenomenon of climate change. Actually, there are more than 400 cities around the world where specific measurements are performed and the existence and the characteristics of the phenomenon are documented and analysed. Urban heat island deals with the development of higher ambient temperatures in the dense zones of cities compared to the surrounding suburban and rural areas as a result of the more positive thermal balance in the urban than in the rural environment. Accumulation of solar heat in the dense urban fabric, excessive generation of anthropogenic heat, lack of green spaces and water, and reduced convective flows because of the inability of the wind to penetrate into the city are among the main reasons contributing to the development of the phenomenon. …