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Impact of city changes and weather on anthropogenic heat flux in Europe 1995–2015

Journal article
Authors Fredrik Lindberg
CSB Grimmond
Nithiandandam Yogeswaran
Simone Kotthaus
Lucy Allen
Published in Urban Climate
Volume 4
Pages 1-15
ISSN 2212-0955
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 1-15
Language en
Keywords Anthropogenic heat flux, Urban climate, Global datasets, Heating degree days, Cooling degree days, Energy consumption
Subject categories Physical Geography, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences


How people live, work, move from place to place, consume and the technologies they use all affect heat emissions in a city which influences urban weather and climate. Here we document changes to a global anthropogenic heat flux (QF) model to enhance its spatial (30'' x 30'' to 0.5° x 0.5°) resolution and temporal coverage (historical, current and future). QF is estimated across Europe (1995–2015), considering changes in temperature, population and energy use. While on average QF is small (of the order 1.9–4.6Wm2 across all the urban areas of Europe), significant spatial variability is documented (maximum 185Wm2). Changes in energy consumption due to changes in climate are predicted to cause a 13% (11%) increase in QF on summer (winter) weekdays. The largest impact results from changes in temperature conditions which influences building energy use; for winter, with the coldest February on record, the mean flux for urban areas of Europe is 4.56 W m-2 and for summer (warmest July on record) is 2.23 W m-2. Detailed results from London highlight the spatial resolution used to model the QF is critical and must be appropriate for the application at hand, whether scientific understanding or decision making.

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