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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  01 Sep 2020

01 Sep 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Assessing heat exposure to extreme temperatures in urban areas using the Local Climate Zones classification

Joan Gilabert1,2,3, Anna Deluca4, Dirk Lauwaet5, Joan Ballester4, Jordi Corbera2, and Maria Carmen Llasat1 Joan Gilabert et al.
  • 1GAMA Team Department of Applied Physics – University of Barcelona
  • 2Institute Cartographic and Geological of Catalonia (ICGC)
  • 3URBAG research team, Sostenipra SGR 1412 ICTA-UAB
  • 4Climate and Health Program – Barcelona Institute for Global Health
  • 5Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)

Abstract. Trends of extreme temperature episodes in cities are increasing (in frequency, magnitude and duration) due to regional climate change in interaction with the urban effects. Urban morphologies and thermal properties of the materials used to build them are factors that influence the spatial and temporal climate variability and becomes one of the main reasons for the climatic singularity of cities. This paper presents a proposal to evaluate the urban and peri-urban effect on extreme temperatures exposure in Barcelona (Spain), using the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) framework as a base statement, that allows the comparison with other cities of the world characterized using this criterion. LCZs were introduced as input of the high resolution UrbClim model (100 m spatial resolution) to create the daily temperatures (median and maximum) series for summer (JJA) during the period 1987 to 2016, pixel by pixel, in order to create a cartography of extremes. Using the relationship between mortality due to high temperatures and the temperature distribution, the heat exposure of each LCZ was obtained. Methodological results of the paper show the improvement obtained when LCZs were mapped through a combination of two techniques (from Land Cover/Land Use maps and from WUDAPT method), as well as proposes a methodology to obtain the exposure to high temperatures of different LCZs on urban and peri-urban areas. In the case of Barcelona, the distribution of temperatures for the 90th percentile (about 3–4 °C compared to average conditions) leads to an increase in the relative risk of mortality of 80 %.

Joan Gilabert et al.

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Joan Gilabert et al.

Joan Gilabert et al.


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