Potential effects of vegetation on the urban thermal environment

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A state-of-the-art mesoscale atmospheric model equipped with a sophisticated land-surface scheme was used to study the potential impact of vegetation on the urban thermal environment and the wind generated by urban-rural contrasts. This numerical experiment indicated that complex non-linear land-atmosphere interactions, involving mesoscale and turbulent (microscale) processes, are generated when patches of vegetation are grown (or cut) in urban areas. Various simulations, supported by observational evidences collected during METROMEX, demonstrated that vegetation can substantially affect the wind, temperature, moisture, and precipitation regime of urban areas. Thus, vegetation is believed to have very important practical applications in urban planning, e.g. heating and cooling requirements of buildings, dispersion and concentration of pollutants, and urban weather. If planned carefully, vegetation could be used to mitigate some of the anthropogenic effects generated by the development of urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-448
Number of pages12
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Mesoscale atmospheric modeling
  • Urban atmospheric circulations
  • Urban micrometeorology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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