Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1046
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
16 Jan 2017
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
A wedge strategy for mitigation of urban warming in future climate scenarios
Lei Zhao1,2,3, Xuhui Lee2,3, and Natalie Schultz3 1Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP), Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540, USA
2Yale-NUIST Center on Atmospheric Environment, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
3School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, USA
Abstract. Heat stress is one of the most severe climate threats to the human society in a future warmer world. The situation is further compounded in urban areas by the urban heat island (UHI). Because the majority of world's population is projected to live in cities, there is a pressing need to find effective solutions for the high temperature problem. We use a climate model to investigate the effectiveness of urban heat mitigation strategies: cool roofs, street vegetation, green roofs, and reflective pavement. Our results show that by adopting highly-reflective roofs, almost all the cities in the United States and southern Canada are transformed into white oases at midday, with an average oasis effect of −3.4 K in the summer for the period 2071–2100, which offsets approximately 80 % of the greenhouse gas (GHG) warming projected for the same period under the RCP4.5 scenario. A UHI mitigation wedge consisting of cool roofs, street vegetation and reflective pavement has the potential to eliminate the daytime UHI plus the GHG warming.

Citation: Zhao, L., Lee, X., and Schultz, N.: A wedge strategy for mitigation of urban warming in future climate scenarios, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1046, in review, 2017.
Lei Zhao et al.
Lei Zhao et al.
Lei Zhao et al.

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Short summary
Heat stress associated with climate change is one of most severe threats to the human society. The problem is further compounded in urban areas by the urban heat island (UHI). We use an urban climate model to evaluate the cooling benefits of active urban heat mitigation strategies. We show that by forming UHI mitigation wedges, these strategies have the potential to significantly reduce the UHI effect plus warming induced by greenhouse gases.
Heat stress associated with climate change is one of most severe threats to the human society....
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