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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>