Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sydney's urban areas to be hit hardest by global warming

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
Green spaces, trees and bodies of water are must-have design features for future development in Sydney's suburbs after researchers found that by 2050 global warming combined with Sydney's urban heat island effect could increase temperatures by up to 3.7°C.

Green spaces, trees and bodies of water are must-have design features for future development in Sydney's suburbs after researchers found that by 2050 global warming combined with Sydney's urban heat island effect could increase temperatures by up to 3.7°C.

The researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science found new urban developments, such as the multitude of new estates on Sydney edges expected to house more than 100,000 residents, were prone to the greatest temperature increases.

"Interestingly, we found that overnight temperatures increased far more than temperatures during the day," said lead author from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science Dr Daniel Argueso.

"This has implications for health problems related to heat stress accumulation and at an economic level where the higher energy consumption needed to power air conditioning overnight may lead to higher power bills."

The urban heat island effect occurs because urban structures can store more heat than open ground. This accumulated heat is released during the night, which is why nighttime temperatures increase even more than daytime temperatures.

At the same time urban surfaces hinder evaporation and its cooling effect, adding another layer to the heating of urban areas.

New areas on the fringes of Sydney could see temperatures rise between 1.1-3.7°C, while the rural areas near these new suburbs could see increases of 0.8-2.6°C. Existing urban areas closer to the CBD will see likely rises of 1.1-2.5°C.

Changes to planning guidelines could ease the heat impact, said Dr Paul Osmond from the University of New South Wales Built Environment.

"Current research shows that along with other strategies green spaces, street trees and bodies of water can have a marked effect on reducing urban heat island effect," said Dr Osmond.

"Not only do these help keep suburbs cooler, there is also a knock-on effect where these places gain social advantages through additional amenities and recreational areas. Quite often, leafy suburbs that contain a number of parks and bodies of water also tend to see increased real estate values. It's a win-win situation for everyone."

While the regions most affected by this increase in temperature will be new developments on the periphery of Sydney's urban area, it doesn't mean areas closer to the CBD won't see increases in the impacts.

Previous studies have shown that density, in particular vertical expansion, plays an important role in the urban heat island effect. As global warming develops, urban designers will also have to consider ways to ease this likely heat increase.

Importantly, while this research was focused on Sydney it has lessons for cities right across Australia. The mechanisms that cause warmer nights in Sydney are applicable to any city with similar characteristics and can be solved in similar ways.

However, Australia's regional climatic variability means scientists will need to extend their research to other cities to better understand their climatic characteristics and get a more comprehensive understanding of urban impacts on local temperature.

"We need to develop a complete profile of temperature changes for different cities taking into account their various urban expansion prospects and locations," Dr Argueso said.

"With this information, we can provide an invaluable tool to help with the future development of Australian cities and the environment many of us live in."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel Argüeso, Jason P. Evans, Lluís Fita, Kathryn J. Bormann. Temperature response to future urbanization and climate change. Climate Dynamics, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1789-6

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Sydney's urban areas to be hit hardest by global warming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708115148.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2013, July 8). Sydney's urban areas to be hit hardest by global warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708115148.htm
University of New South Wales. "Sydney's urban areas to be hit hardest by global warming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708115148.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins