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Anthropogenic heat flux: advisable spatial resolutions when input data are scarce

Gabey, A. M., Grimmond, C. S. B. and Capel-Timms, I. (2019) Anthropogenic heat flux: advisable spatial resolutions when input data are scarce. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 135 (1-2). pp. 791-807. ISSN 1434-4483

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00704-018-2367-y


Anthropogenic heat flux (QF) may be significant in cities, especially under low solar irradiance and at night. It is of interest to many practitioners including meteorologists, city planners and climatologists. QF estimates at fine temporal and spatial resolution can be derived from models that use varying amounts of empirical data. This study compares simple and detailed models in a European megacity (London) at 500 m spatial resolution. The simple model (LQF) uses spatially resolved population data and national energy statistics. The detailed model (GQF) additionally uses local energy, road network and workday population data. The Fractions Skill Score (FSS) and bias are used to rate the skill with which the simple model reproduces the spatial patterns and magnitudes of QF, and its sub-components, from the detailed model. LQF skill was consistently good across 90% of the city, away from the centre and major roads. The remaining 10% contained elevated emissions and B hot spots ^ representing 30 – 40% of the total city-wide energy. This structure was lost because it requires workday population, spatially resolved building energy consumption and/or road network data. Daily total building and traffic energy consumption estimates from national data were within ± 40% of local values. Progressively coarser spatial resolutions to 5 km improved skill for total Q F , but important features (hot spots, transport network) were lost at all resolutions when residential population controlled spatial variations. The results demonstrate that simple QF models should be applied with conservative spatial resolution in cities that, like London, exhibit time-varying energy use patterns.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:75551


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