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Weather forecast sensitivity to changes in urban land covers using the WRF model for central Mexico

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      Abstract

      The impact on temperature of the urban growth in central Mexico from 1993 to 2009 and the sensitivity of forecast to change in land cover are studied using high resolution numerical simulations. The mesoscale atmospheric Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) uses Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC) data created from NOAA-AVHRR satellite images from 1992 and 1993. However, from 1990 to 2010 the population of the country grew 29%, which represents an important increase in the extension of urban areas, particularly in the central part of the country, where the population in places like State of Mexico and Tlaxcala has grown around 34 and 33%, respectively. Due to the above, using the 2009 land use map of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI, by its abbreviation in Spanish), in this study an update of the 30" resolution urban coverage data used by the WRF model is performed. A sensitivity study is carried out for Mexico City and its suburbs, and for the cities of Puebla and Tlaxcala. Eight sites are analyzed where changes from vegetation cover to urban cover occur and temperature increases between 0.5 and 5.0 ºC. The average of the maximum differences in temperature throughout the diurnal cycle is 2.61 ºC and the mean of the differences in the whole period is 0.66 ºC. The maximum difference in temperature is registered between the 10:00 and 15:00 hours (local time). The average maximum temperature using new urban data is 26.96 ºC, whereas using GLCC-1993 urban data is 25.63 ºC. The average increase in daily maximum temperature is 1.33 ºC, and for the daily minimum temperature is 0.12 ºC. The maximum temperature is reached between 13:00 and 15:00 hours, whereas the minimum temperature is reached between 4:00 and 6:00 hours. The mean daily range using new urban data is 16.0 ºC whereas using GLCC-1993 data is 14.9 ºC. Results show that the change from vegetal cover to urban increased the temperature in the study area.

      Translated abstract

      En este trabajo se estudia el impacto en la temperatura superficial, de 1993 a 2009, debido al crecimiento urbano en el centro de México y la sensibilidad del pronóstico a cambios en la cobertura de suelo con base en simulaciones numéricas de alta resolución. El modelo Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) emplea datos de cobertura de la tierra global Global Land Cover Characteristics (GLCC) creados a partir de imágenes del satélite NOAA-AVHRR tomadas entre 1992 y 1993. Sin embargo, de 1990 a 2010 la población del país ha crecido en un 29%, lo cual representa un incremento importante en la extensión de las zonas urbanas, particularmente en la parte central de la República, donde en lugares como el Estado de México o Tlaxcala la población ha crecido en un 34% y 33% respectivamente. Debido a lo anterior, con base en el mapa de uso de suelo del 2009 del Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI), en este trabajo se actualiza la cobertura urbana en los datos de cobertura de la tierra usados por el modelo WRF para la malla con resolución de 30". A partir de dos simulaciones se hace un análisis de sensibilidad del pronóstico de temperatura para la ciudad de México y su zona conurbada, así como para las ciudades de Puebla y Tlaxcala. Se analizaron ocho sitios en donde el uso de suelo cambió de cobertura vegetal a cobertura urbana y se encontró que la temperatura se incrementó entre 0.5 y 5.0 ºC. El promedio de las diferencias máximas en temperatura a lo largo del ciclo diurno es de 2.61 ºC y el promedio de las diferencias en temperatura a lo largo del periodo es de 0.66 ºC. Las diferencias máximas se registran entre las 10:00 y 15:00 horas (hora local). La temperatura máxima promedio obtenida empleando los nuevos datos de cobertura urbana es de 26.96 ºC, mientras que empleando los datos de cobertura urbana GLCC-1993 es de 25.63 ºC. El incremento promedio de la temperatura máxima diaria es de 1.33 ºC y para la temperatura mínima diaria de 0.12 ºC. La hora en la que se alcanza la temperatura máxima ocurre entre las 13:00 y 15:00 horas, mientras que la temperatura mínima se alcanza entre las 4:00 y 6:00 horas. El rango promedio diario usando nuevos datos urbanos es de 16.0 ºC, mientras que usando datos de GLCC-1993 es de 14.9 ºC. Estos resultados muestran que el cambio de cobertura vegetal a cobertura urbana ha incrementando la temperatura de las cuatro zonas de estudio.

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      Most cited references 15

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      Indicadores demográficos básicos 1990-2030

      (2012)
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        Sensitivity Study of Four Land Surface Schemes in the WRF Model

        The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.0 developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) includes three land surface schemes: the simple soil thermal diffusion (STD) scheme, the Noah scheme, and the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) scheme. We have recently coupled the sophisticated NCAR Community Land Model version 3 (CLM3) into WRF to better characterize land surface processes. Among these four land surface schemes, the STD scheme is the simplest in both structure and process physics. The Noah and RUC schemes are at the intermediate level of complexity. CLM3 includes the most sophisticated snow, soil, and vegetation physics among these land surface schemes. WRF simulations with all four land surface schemes over the western United States (WUS) were carried out for the 1 October 1995 through 30 September 1996. The results show that land surface processes strongly affect temperature simulations over the (WUS). As compared to observations, WRF-CLM3 with the highest complexity level significantly improves temperature simulations, except for the wintertime maximum temperature. Precipitation is dramatically overestimated by WRF with all four land surface schemes over the (WUS) analyzed in this study and does not show a close relationship with land surface processes.
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          Possible impact of urbanization on the thermal climate of some large cities in México

           E. JÁUREGUI (2005)
          Urbanization has been the dominant demographic trend during the second half of the 20th century in México. In 2000 there were 69 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants of which 9 of them exceeded one million population, totalizing 53.4 million. Using time series of mean monthly temperature for about a dozen available stations, this paper sets out to examine temperature changes occurring during the late 20th century. Since it is well established that urban warming is mainly a nocturnal phenomenon minimum temperature series were selected after a test for homogeneity. Trend analysis was applied to the minimum temperature series and a linear regression coefficient was obtained. Tests of significance were performed. Most of the positive trends proved to be significant (>90%). Although temperature trend variability amongst the individual cities was large (from 0.02°C/decade to 0.74 °C/decade) average temperature increase in large (>10(6) inhabitants) cities was (0.57 °C/decade) considerably higher than that corresponding to medium size urban centers where on the average temperature increase was 0.37 °C/decade. These temperature increases express not only the urbanization effect but also that due to global climate change (of the order of 0.07 °C/decade) and natural variability. In concluding it may be said that increasing urbanization in México has originated a positive trend in urban temperatures which has implications for human comfort and health.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1] Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Mexico
            [2] Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Mexico
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            atm
            Atmósfera
            Atmósfera
            Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, UNAM (México)
            0187-6236
            April 2012
            : 25
            : 2
            : 127-154
            S0187-62362012000200002

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO Mexico
            Categories
            Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
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