'Urban Heat Islands and Greenspace'

Geography Building room 125
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Life and Environmental Sciences
Thursday 27th February 2014 (16:00-17:00)
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Speaker: Dr Kieron J. Doick, Land Regeneration and Urban Greenspace Research Group, Centre for Sustainable Forestry and Climate Change, Forest Research

Urban centres are typically warmer than the surrounding countryside - a phenomenon termed the 'urban heat island' effect (UHI). With summertime UHI intensity averaging 5oC in London (reaching 9-10oC during heatwaves) and with further warming predicted under a changing climate, well informed adaptation and mitigation strategies are required to protect the health of urban dwellers. Vegetation delivers several mechanisms of cooling simultaneously and in a complementary way, namely evaporative cooling, reflecting solar energy and shading. As a result greenspaces can locally cool urban heat islands. There is a paucity of empirical data on the role of greenspaces in combatting UHIs in the UK. This talk presents initial findings from our studies in London to fill this gap and provide data to support city greening as part of wider climate change adaptation strategies.