Urban heat island (UHI) influence on secondary pollutant formation in a tropical humid environment

The combined action of urbanization (change in land use) and increase in vehicular emissions intensifies the urban heat island (UHI) effect in many cities in the developed countries. The urban warming (UHI) enhances heat-stress-related diseases and ozone (O3) levels due to a photochemical reaction. Even though UHI intensity depends on wind speed, wind direction, and solar flux, the thermodynamic properties of surface materials can accelerate the temperature profiles at the local scale. This mechanism modifies the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) structure and mixing height in urban regions. These changes further deteriorate the local air quality. In this work, an attempt has been made to understand the interrelationship between air pollution and UHI intensity at selected urban areas located at tropical environment. The characteristics of ambient temperature profiles associated with land use changes in the different microenvironments of Chennai city were simulated using the Envi-Met model. The simulated surface 24-hr average air temperatures (11 m above the ground) for urban background and commercial and residential sites were found to be 30.81 ± 2.06, 31.51 ± 1.87, and 31.33 ± 2.1ºC, respectively. The diurnal variation of UHI intensity was determined by comparing the daytime average air temperatures to the diurnal air temperature for different wind velocity conditions. From the model simulations, the authors found that wind speed of 0.2 to 5 m/sec aggravates the UHI intensity. Further, the diurnal variation of mixing height was also estimated at the study locations. The estimated lowest mixing height at the residential area was found to be 60 m in the middle of night. During the same period, highest ozone (O3) concentrations were also recorded at the continuous ambient air quality monitoring station (CAAQMS) located at the residential area. Implications: An attempt has made to study the diurnal variation of secondary pollution levels in different study regions. This paper focuses mainly on the UHI intensity variations with respect to percentage of land use pattern change in Chennai city, India. The study simulated the area-based land use pattern with local mixing height variations. The relationship between UHI intensity and mixing height provides variations on local air quality.


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  • Accession Number: 01670432
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 5 2018 3:00PM