URBan environments and Regional Climate Change (URB-RCC)

Understanding the effect of urban areas on the regional climate, and the impact of regional climate change on cities, with the help of coordinated regional climate model experiments.

CORDEX FPS Urban_Prontpage

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Cities play a fundamental role on climate at local to regional scales through modification of heat and moisture fluxes, as well as affecting local atmospheric chemistry and composition, alongside air-pollution dispersion. Vice versa, regional climate change impacts urban areas and is expected to more severely affect cities and their citizens in the upcoming decades. Simultaneously, the share of the population living in urban areas is growing, and is projected to reach about 70% of the world population up to 2050.

This is especially critical in connection to extreme events, for instance heat waves with extremely high temperatures exacerbated by the urban heat island effect, in particular during night-time, with significant consequences for human health. Additionally, from the perspective of recent regional climate model developments with increasing resolution down to the city scale, proper parameterization of urban processes is starting to play an important role to understand local/regional climate change. The inclusion of the individual urban processes affecting energy balance and transport (i.e. heat, humidity, momentum fluxes) via special urban land-use parameterization of distinct local processes becomes vital to simulate the urban effects properly.

The FPS URB-RCC has been officially endorsed by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX).