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Urban heat island in Mediterranean coastal cities: the case of Bari (Italy)

Martinelli Alessandra, Kolokotsa Dionysia, Fiorito Francesco

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Year 2020
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation A. Martinelli, D.-D. Kolokotsa, and F. Fiorito, “Urban heat island in Mediterranean coastal cities: the case of Bari (Italy),” Climate, vol. 8, no. 6, June 2020, doi: 10.3390/CLI8060079
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In being aware that some factors (i.e. increasing pollution levels, Urban Heat Island (UHI), extreme climate events) threaten the quality of life in cities, this paper intends to study the Atmospheric UHI phenomenon in Bari, a Mediterranean coastal city in Southern Italy. An experimental investigation at the micro-scale was conducted to study and quantify the UHI effect by considering several spots in the city to understand how the urban and physical characteristics of these areas modify air temperatures and lead to different UHI configurations. Air temperature data provided by fixed weather stations were first compared to assess the UHI distribution and its daily, monthly, seasonal and annual intensity in five years (from 2014 to 2018) to draw local climate information, and then compared with the relevant national standard. The study has shown that urban characteristics are crucial to the way the UHI phenomenon manifests itself. UHI reaches its maximum intensity in summer and during night-time. The areas with higher density (station 2—Local Climate Zone (LCZ) 2) record high values of UHI intensity both during daytime (4.0 °C) and night-time (4.2 °C). Areas with lower density (station 3—LCZ 5) show high values of UHI during daytime (up to 4.8 °C) and lower values of UHI intensity during night-time (up to 2.8 °C). It has also been confirmed that sea breezes—particularly noticeable in the coastal area—can mitigate temperatures and change the configuration of the UHI. Finally, by analysing the frequency distribution of current and future weather scenarios, up to additional 4 °C of increase of urban air temperature is expected, further increasing the current treats to urban liveability.

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