Fourth Symposium on Policy and Socio—Economic Research
21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change
Eighth Symposium on the Urban Environment


Impact of global climate change on central European cities

Wilhelm Kuttler, Univ. of Duisburg, Essen, Germany; and S. Weber

The impacts of global climate change on urban climate and the air pollutant situation of mid European cities should be reviewed. The analysis will be based on the latest findings by IPCC (2007) which stated climate change to be unequivocal and global temperature to rise by about 2 K within the next 100 years in mid Europe.

The following effects of climate change within urban systems are believed to be very likely: an increased frequency of clear and calm (high pressure) weather situations in conjunction with a higher frequency of UHI-events, amplification of thermal urban climate effects by increased air conditioning in urban buildings and a larger number of days exceeding thermal threshold values. Above that, higher ozone concentrations and a rising frequency of intense rain events during summer months are likely. Appropriate analysis did reveal that electrical power consumption is no longer negatively correlated to air temperature but positively correlated, which in turn results in higher emissions of CO2.

Different urban counter measures, either mitigation or adaptation strategies, will be discussed taking the ‘shrinking-cities' phenomenon with increasing unoccupied and vacant urban spaces into account. The question will be discussed, how urban open spaces might be useful in terms of modifying the urban climate, e.g. by cold-air production due to increased greening or better utilisation of renewable energy (“urban-solar potential”). Aspects like unsealing urban surfaces and increasing the infiltration capacity of urban surfaces will be reviewed. In general, an important field in future urban climatology will be to verify and assess the climatic/pollutant situation and potential of cities in order to cope with the challenge of climate change.

Joint Session 6, Urban Implications of Climate Change and Population Growth
Thursday, 15 January 2009, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM, Room 121A

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