3.6 Regional Climate Changes in Urban Coastal Areas: On the Combined and Separate Effects of Changing Landscapes and Regional Climate Signals (Invited Presentation)

Monday, 23 January 2017: 5:15 PM
Conference Center: Tahoma 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Jorge Gonzalez, City College, New York, NY

Quantification of total regional climate changes due to the combined effects of land cover and land use (LCLU), anthropogenic activity and greenhouse gases (GHG) is becoming essential.  Urban coastal areas are regions where global, regional and local climates converge via the changing land-sea interaction and rapid urbanization.  This research review has the high level goal of improving our understanding of the combined climate effects of LCLU and GHG in urban coastal regions. To reach this goal the research uses an integrated approach of high-resolution remote sensing and climatological data, linking them to numerical atmospheric mesoscale models employed to perform ensembles of climate simulations (combining X-LCLU and Y-global climate scenarios).  Reconstructed LCLU, and present high resolution remote sensing data are used to represent LCLU changes. A simple method, i.e., factor separation, for calculating the interactions between LCLU and GHG is used to quantify direct and cross comparison for single, combined, and competitive effects between LCLU and GHG.  Changing climatological variables analyzed included surface maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, sea-breeze, cloud cover and cloud base.  Three case studies are reviewed to present the methodology, a tropical coastal urban location (San Juan, Puerto Rico), a mid-latitude coastal urban location (Los Angeles, CA), and a very dense urban coastal environment (New York City) esulting in contrasting and surprising findings.  The contributions of Prof. Bornstein in inspiring and guidign this research are particularly highlighted.   
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