Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Study Could Bring Relief To Sweltering City Slickers

04.06.2007
Sweltering summers in the city may become more bearable in future years, thanks to a new study probing the heat contributed by buildings, roads and traffic.

Researchers at The University of Manchester will use a small plane and a car fitted with advanced equipment to map out the surface temperature of central areas of Manchester and Sheffield.

The data collected will be combined with climate change forecasts to produce a detailed picture of how urban ‘heat islands’ push up the temperature during the hottest months.

One of the aims of the three-year study is to produce a series of tools, that will help planners, designers and engineers decide the best way of adapting the urban landscape to bring greater human comfort during hot and sticky spells.

The SCORCHIO project (Sustainable Cities : Options for Responding to Climate Change Impacts and Outcomes), is being led by The School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE) at The University of Manchester.

The Universities of Newcastle, Sheffield and East Anglia, The Met Office Hadley Centre and The Tyndall Centre, are all working closely with researchers from Manchester on the £550,000 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project.

Local authorities, planners, designers and engineers will be working with researchers to help realise the project goals.

As well as increasing levels of human comfort, adapting buildings will also help reduce harmful carbon emissions.

For example, reducing the amount of exterior glass could lower temperatures and cut the demand for electricity-hungry air conditioning systems and desk fans.

At the moment neither the effects on the urban landscape or the heat released by human activities within cities are considered in standard climate change research. But they have been shown to be potentially very significant.

The 2003 heat wave is considered responsible for around 14,800 excess deaths in France and around 2,045 excess deaths in England and Wales – and researchers believe that projected rates of urban growth may mean that the health risk will increase as the impact of climate change becomes greater.

Research conducted at the Met Office Hadley Centre suggests that the occurrence of such hot summers is now twice as likely as it would have been without human-caused climate change.

Project leader Professor Geoff Levermore, Professor of the Built Environment at The University of Manchester and lead author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group Three Chapter on Buildings said: “Our urban and city areas are becoming increasingly unhealthy, dangerous and uncomfortable to work and live in, and are remarkably vulnerable to global warming.

“Actions by planners, designers and building owners are required in the short term if cities are to avoid becoming ever more vulnerable in the long term.

“For climate change adaptation strategies to be developed for cities and regions in the UK, there is an urgent need for decision support tools to appraise and design adaptation options.

“The science and practice of adaptation of the built environment to climate change is still in its infancy. We hope this project will pave the way for further research and work to address this very important issue.”

It’s hoped the work will provide a blueprint for the development of computer map-based (GIS) systems, allowing planners and designers to examine possible changes and see the wider impact on the climate of a city or urban area.

Researchers are also aiming to create a new heat and human comfort vulnerability index for typical buildings and their surroundings. This would help identify areas of a city that might become most uncomfortable during a hot spell.

The SCORCHIO project will initially focus on the central areas of Manchester and Sheffield, although other cities have expressed an interest in becoming involved.

Jon Keighren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>