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2019-02-28. The Urban Dry Island Effect.

posted Mar 9, 2019, 12:10 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Mar 9, 2019, 12:11 PM ]
By Emily Underwood, Eos/AGU. [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/the-urban-dry-island-effect] For GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 5. Excerpt: A study of the Yangtze River Delta shows how urbanization dries out the atmosphere. Heat generated by people, vehicles, and the Sun is easily trapped by the materials used to build houses, industrial buildings, sidewalks, and parking lots. This heat often makes cities significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas, a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect. Now, a new study of the highly developed Yangtze River Delta in southern China examines a less studied but related impact of city building: the desiccation of the local atmosphere. ...Here Hao et al. [https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018WR023002] hypothesize that in addition to increasing local temperatures in urban areas, this rapid development has altered the flow of water between the ground and the atmosphere, making built-up regions drier. To test that hypothesis, the researchers obtained data from the Global Land Surface Satellite (GLASS), products derived from multiple satellite imageries. They also obtained more than 50 years of climate data from 33 weather stations spanning the delta and data from Chinese government records on urbanization and the amount of land being used to grow paddy rice....