Evidence for a significant urbanization effect on climate in China

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Liming ZhouRanga B Myneni


China has experienced rapid urbanization and dramatic economic growth since its reform process started in late 1978. In this article, we present evidence for a significant urbanization effect on climate based on analysis of impacts of land-use changes on surface temperature in southeast China, where rapid urbanization has occurred. Our estimated warming of mean surface temperature of 0.05 degrees C per decade attributable to urbanization is much larger than previous estimates for other periods and locations. The spatial pattern and magnitude of our estimate are consistent with those of urbanization characterized by changes in the percentage of urban population and in satellite-measured greenness.


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