Estimating urban heat island effects on near-surface air temperature records of Uccle (Brussels, Belgium): an observational and modeling study
- Royal Meteorological Institute, 3 Avenue Circulaire, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
Abstract. In this letter, the Brussels's urban heat island (UHI) effect on the near-surface air temperature time series of Uccle (the national suburban recording station of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium) was estimated between 1955 and 2006 during the summer months. The UHI of Brussels was estimated using both ground-based weather stations and remote sensing imagery combined with a land surface scheme that includes a state-of-the-art urban parameterization, the Town Energy Balance scheme. Analysis of urban warming based on the remote sensing method reveals that the urban bias on minimum air temperature is rising at a higher rate, 2.5 times (2.85 ground-based observed) more, than on maximum temperature, with a linear trend of 0.15 °C (0.19 °C ground-based observed) and 0.06 °C (0.06 °C ground-based observed) per decade respectively. The summer-mean urban bias on the mean air temperature is 0.8 °C (0.9 °C ground-based observed). The results based on remote sensing imagery are compatible with estimates of urban warming based on weather stations. Therefore, the technique presented in this work is a useful tool in estimating the urban heat island contamination in long time series, countering the drawbacks of an ground-observational approach.