Urban climate

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Urban climate refers to climatic conditions in an urban area that differ from neighboring rural areas, and are attributable to urban development. Urbanization tremendously changes the form of the landscape, and also produces changes in an area's air.


Cities absorb much less water per area than rural areas, as much of them is paved or built on. In some areas this creates a need for specific measures to reduce the risk of localised flooding during periods of heavy rainfall. Measures include the use of rainwater storage and drainage systems. In some areas this may involve storm sewers to collect rainwater separately from household blackwater, to reduce the risk of polluted water overflowing during periods of rainfall heavy enough to overwhelm sewers.


According to one study, the growing season in east coast U.S. cities is fifteen days longer than in the surrounding rural areas. This is attributed to the higher temperature. [1]

With higher concentrations of vegetation, the potential for heat storage is reduced due to the natural process of transpiration produced by plants, thereby decreasing the temperature in the area.[2]


Main article: Urban heat island

Urban areas are generally much warmer[quantify] than surrounding rural areas. The main cause for this is that urban areas use materials (like concrete, asphalt, and brick) and geometries (urban canyons) that retain heat well. At night, buildings block air currents and reduce radiative cooling, the process whereby the day's heat is dissipated in into the sky.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cook-Anderson, Anderson; Ramanujan, Krishna; Menting, Ann Marie (29 Jul 2004). "Urban Heat Islands Make Cities Greener". NASA. Retrieved 31 Jan 2013. 
  2. ^ Wenga, Qihao; Lu, Dengsheng; Schubringa, Jacquelyn (20 May 2003). "Estimation of land surface temperature–vegetation abundance relationship for urban heat island studies". Retrieved 15 Sep 2014.