Urban Climatology Exam-study guide

Urban Climatology Exam #1 Study Guide
1. Solar Radiation and Intro
What is the difference between weather and climate?
How do cities affect the albedo? What city materials have the lowest albedos? How can you change
solar absorption with albedo changes? Explain cool roofs.
How do buildings affect incoming solar radiation? Outgoing longwave radiation? Explain what is the
skyview of a downtown street.
What is net radiation? Sensible and latent heat? Ground storage? What is heat conductivity, and
specific heat and how does it vary between materials (water, air, metals, soil, sand)?
How does pollution affect the radiation balance?
How does sunpath affect solar energy and heating?
How do cities contribute to global warming?
How does aerosols, like sulfates affect global warming? How does stratospheric ozone affect global
warming? How does tropospheric ozone affect it? Which greenhouse gas is the most effective at
warming our planet? Which greenhouse gas is causing the most recent warming of our climate?
How do clouds affect the maximum and minimum temperatures?
2. Urban Heat Island and temperatures
What is the urban heat island and how is it measured? How do you measure city surface
temperatures? Why isn’t the air as warm as the surface?
How is the UHI affected by weather (clouds, wind, seasons)?
How does the UHI vary with city size, population, density of buildings, time of day?
How does the UHI affect heating and cooling degree days? Growing season?
How has LA heat waves changed over the last 50 years in terms of frequency and duration?
Which does the UHI affect most, maximum or minimum temperatures?
What are the main causes of the UHI? What is anthropogenic heat and how much does it contribute to
the UHI?
Why do land surfaces heat and cool faster than water surfaces? Explain heat transfer by conduction,
convection and radiation.
3. Urban Wind Field
How do cities affect the prevailing winds? What is the urban breeze? What is the urban dust dome?
What is the urban plume? What is the boundary layer and how does the urban boundary layer
compare to the surroundings? How do winds vary with height inside and outside cities?
How do buildings sometimes increase wind flow?
What is a wind rose and how is it used?
Explain what causes the sea breeze/land breeze circulation. Explain what causes the mountain/valley
wind circulation.
What is the practical importance of knowing the wind field in a city?