Modeling the effects of Urbanization on Local Climates in the Pearl River Delta

by Rebecca Herrera

It has become clear that cities and other urban localities experience warmer temperatures than their rural counterparts. The urban heat islands of megatropolises can have more extreme effects on a specific area than global temperature rises have on the same area. This phenomena was studied by Wang et al. in the Pearl River Delta region of Southern China in the coastal zone of the Guangdong Province, an area that has experienced dramatic economic development over the last thirty years. The authors attempt to gain a more thorough and comprehensive understanding of the effects of urbanization on regional and local climactic indicators over an extended period of time. The results showed an overall average temperature increase, an decrease in daytime temperature ranges, a decrease in near surface water vapor quantities, a decrease in the annual number of precipitation days, an increase in annual precipitation, and a decrease in average wind speeds across urbanized zones. Continue reading