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      The role of one large greenspace in mitigating London's nocturnal urban heat island.

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          Abstract

          The term urban heat island (UHI) describes a phenomenon where cities are on average warmer than the surrounding rural area. Trees and greenspaces are recognised for their strong potential to regulate urban air temperatures and combat the UHI. Empirical data is required in the UK to inform predictions on cooling by urban greenspaces and guide planning to maximise cooling of urban populations. We describe a 5-month study to measure the temperature profile of one of central London's large greenspaces and also in an adjacent street to determine the extent to which the greenspace reduced night-time UHI intensity. Statistical modelling displayed an exponential decay in the extent of cooling with increased distance from the greenspace. The extent of cooling ranged from an estimated 20 m on some nights to 440 m on other nights. The mean temperature reduction over these distances was 1.1 °C in the summer months, with a maximum of 4 °C cooling observed on some nights. Results suggest that calculation of London's UHI using Met Stations close to urban greenspace can underestimate 'urban' heat island intensity due to the cooling effect of the greenspace and values could be in the region of 45% higher. Our results lend support to claims that urban greenspace is an important component of UHI mitigation strategies. Lack of certainty over the variables that govern the extent of the greenspace cooling influence indicates that the multifaceted roles of trees and greenspaces in the UK's urban environment merit further consideration.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Sci. Total Environ.
          The Science of the total environment
          1879-1026
          0048-9697
          Sep 15 2014
          : 493
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Land Regeneration and Urban Greenspace Research Group, Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LH, UK. Electronic address: kieron.doick@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.
          [2 ] Land Regeneration and Urban Greenspace Research Group, Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey GU10 4LH, UK.
          Article
          S0048-9697(14)00903-6
          10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.06.048
          24995636
          6ee80f4b-c0e0-46a3-a0c2-055355a819c2
          Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

          Green infrastructure,Parks,Trees,Urban cooling,Urban planning

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