Warmer urban climate in Arctic cities, By: Igor Esau, Victoria Miles and the HIARC project team

Speaker: 
Igor Esau (Climate Dynamics and Prediction)
Seminar Date: 
22. January 2019 - 11:15 - 11:45
Location: 
Lecture room, Ground Floor, NERSC

The recent IPCC special report on 1.5C warming target has envisioned a number of detrimental effects and environmental challenges that will emerge with the global warming in excess of the target. Our study reveals that majority of the Arctic population is already leaving in the climate conditions significantly warmer than 1.5C and even 3.0C above the mean XXth century regional temperature. These urban temperature anomalies, known to as the urban heat islands (UHIs), may help us to study the effects of the warmer climate in the Arctic region. 28 cities in the northern West Siberia region as well as several cities in other areas, e.g. Apatity in Kola Peninsula, were studied in the HIARC project. The most intensive studies, including several field campaigns, were run in Apatity, Nadym, Norilsk and some other mid-sized cities. The long-term variability of the UHI was studied in Nefteyugansk – the capital of the Russian Oil Fields in Siberia. We found that the urban climate is significantly warmer, especially during the coldest spells, than the regional climates. In effect, the vegetation productivity is enhanced, invasive species and ecosystems are proliferating, and stability of soil under infrastructure has been significantly destroyed. Better understanding of the urban climates has already resulted in practical engineering and policy measures to counter-act the detrimental consequences of the excessive warming on the infrastructure and urban planning.