Urban Landscapes and Climate Change: Workshop Report

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Monday, 3 February 2014: 4:30 PM
Room C212 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Beth Drewniak, ANL, Argonne, IL; and F. Chen, R. Jacob, and C. Catlett

A workshop titled Urban Landscapes and Climate Change: from measurements to modeling will be held in August 2013. The workshop goals are to further our understanding of how earth system models incorporate the influences of urban environments on climate, with an emphasis on how large observation studies can be used to aid the modeling community. Several trends are motivating this workshop: the impact urban landscapes have on local and regional climate, the influence of climate on urban cities, and the increasing availability of data to improve knowledge of the processes involved in urban ecosystems. With the increase of population living in urban areas and the rise of “smart cities” using Big Data to help plan and manage, we can extend our understanding of urban-climate interactions to help new and existing cities make better decisions about how to adapt to and mitigate climate change. The workshop encompasses a broad research agenda where participants will hear presentations ranging from observations of the heat island, energy exchange, and lake-breeze, to modeling the urban canopy with small scale regional models and global climate models, and challenges determining risk and mitigation opportunities. Breakout sessions will foster discussion to identify the knowledge gaps of processes driving urban impact and response to climate change, the data needs to improve how urban landscapes are represented in climate models, and how urban observations can be used to augment our understanding of urban ecosystems to improve model development. Questions of interest include: What processes drive local urban climate change; what type of model or models can capture urban influences on climate and resolve climate change impacts on urban centers; how are current global and regional climate and weather models validated over urban areas with existing data and what new data is needed; how are cities currently using climate information in their operations and planning? The results of this workshop will be presented and include: 1) processes that are important for urban representation in models, but are currently not included, 2) how observation and measurement studies can contribute to a better portrayal of urban systems in climate models, 3) how measurements and modeling can better work together to improve our understanding of climate change and urban landscapes, and finally, 4) how cities can use that information to improve the lives of their citizens.