The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is a well-known phenomenon concerning an increasing percentage of the world’s population due to the growth rates of metropolitan areas. Given the health and economic implications of UHIs, several mitigation techniques are being evaluated and tested. In this study, we consider the use of highly reflective materials for urban surfaces, and we carried out numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with the CHIMERE model in order to investigate the effects of these materials on the meteorology and air quality in the urban area of Milan (Italy). Results show that an increase in albedo from 0.2 to 0.7 for urban roofs, walls and streets leads to a decrease in UHI intensity by up to 2–3 °C and of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) height of about 500 m. However, the difference of PM10 and ozone between urban and surrounding areas increases by a factor of about 2, attributable to the reduction of PBL height and wind speed and to the increased reflected solar radiation that may enhance photochemical production during the daytime. Therefore, if anthropogenic emissions are held at the same levels, the potential benefit to the UHI in terms of thermal discomfort may have negative repercussions on air quality.

Impact of Highly Reflective Materials on Meteorology, PM10 and Ozone in Urban Areas: A Modeling Study with WRF-CHIMERE at High Resolution over Milan (Italy)

FALASCA, SERENA;Gabriele Curci
2018

Abstract

The Urban Heat Island (UHI) is a well-known phenomenon concerning an increasing percentage of the world’s population due to the growth rates of metropolitan areas. Given the health and economic implications of UHIs, several mitigation techniques are being evaluated and tested. In this study, we consider the use of highly reflective materials for urban surfaces, and we carried out numerical experiments using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with the CHIMERE model in order to investigate the effects of these materials on the meteorology and air quality in the urban area of Milan (Italy). Results show that an increase in albedo from 0.2 to 0.7 for urban roofs, walls and streets leads to a decrease in UHI intensity by up to 2–3 °C and of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) height of about 500 m. However, the difference of PM10 and ozone between urban and surrounding areas increases by a factor of about 2, attributable to the reduction of PBL height and wind speed and to the increased reflected solar radiation that may enhance photochemical production during the daytime. Therefore, if anthropogenic emissions are held at the same levels, the potential benefit to the UHI in terms of thermal discomfort may have negative repercussions on air quality.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/122962
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