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Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 5;6:18790. doi: 10.1038/srep18790.

Horizontal Heat Impact of Urban Structures on the Surface Soil Layer and Its Diurnal Patterns under Different Micrometeorological Conditions.

Zhou H1, Hu D1, Wang X1, Han F1, Li Y1, Wu X2,3, Ma S4.

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State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, PR China.
College of Urban and Rural Construction, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu County, Shanxi Province, 030801, PR China.
Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK.
College of Eco-Environmental Engineering, Qinghai University, Xining, Qinghai, 810016, PR China.


The temperature of the surface soil layer around different orientation walls was investigated horizontally along several construction-soil micro-gradients in Beijing, China. On a diurnal scale, similar fluctuating trends in T0 and T50 (temperature of surface soil layer, 0 and 0.5 m from the building baseline) adjacent to the external walls of buildings with the same orientation usually appeared under similar micrometeorological conditions. The difference between T0 and T50 (ΔT 0-50) can be considered an indicator of the intensity of the horizontal heat effects: higher ΔT 0-50 values correspond to greater intensities. The values of ΔT 0-50 for south-, north-, east- and west-facing sides of buildings were highest on sunny days in summer and exhibited values of 6.61 K, 1.64 K, 5.93 K and 2.76 K, respectively. The scope of horizontal heat impacts (Sh) changed on a diurnal scale between zero and the maximum, which fluctuated with the micrometeorological conditions. The maximum values of Sh were 0.30, 0.15, 0.20 and 0.20 m for south-, north-, east-, and west-facing walls. The ΔT 0-50 was related to solar radiation, horizontal heat flux, relative humidity, wind speed, soil moisture differences and air temperature; the relative importance of these factors was 36.22%, 31.80%, 19.19%, 2.67%, 3.68% and 6.44%, respectively.

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