Energy exchange in a dense urban environment – part I: temporal variability of long-term observations in central London
Kotthaus, S. and Grimmond, C. S. B. (2014) Energy exchange in a dense urban environment – part I: temporal variability of long-term observations in central London. Urban Climate, 10 (2). pp. 261-280. ISSN 2212-0955
To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.uclim.2013.10.002
Though anthropogenic impacts on boundary layer climates are expected to be large in dense urban areas, to date very few studies of energy flux observations are available. We report on 3.5 years of measurements gathered in central London, UK. Radiometer and eddy covariance observations at two adjacent sites, at different heights, were analysed at various temporal scales and with respect to meteorological conditions, such as cloud cover. Although the evaporative flux is generally small due to low moisture availability and a predominately impervious surface, the enhancement following rainfall usually lasts for 12–18 h. As both the latent and sensible heat fluxes are larger in the afternoon, they maintain a relatively consistent Bowen ratio throughout the middle of the day. Strong storage and anthropogenic heat fluxes sustain high and persistently positive sensible heat fluxes. At the monthly time scale, the urban surface often loses more energy by this turbulent heat flux than is gained from net all-wave radiation. Auxiliary anthropogenic heat flux information suggest human activities in the study area are sufficient to provide this energy.