The MEM Seminar Series 2005/2006


For the first time, about half of the world’s population is living in urban areas. 95% of the growth of cities over the next three decades will occur in less developed countries, 60% of which will be in Asia (especially China and India). As a consequence, urban environments exhibit the clearest signs of anthropogenic climate modification. Alterations include the transformation of the radiative, thermal, moisture and aerodynamic characteristics of the surface and the atmosphere, thereby dislocating the natural solar and hydrologic balances.

The quality of life is decreasing in many urban environments. Several of these problems are directly or indirectly related to the climate of these cities. The situation is most dramatic in the less developed world and the tropics. Industrial areas are often located with little regard to ventilation and operate with little or no emission control. Many cities in the tropics experience weak winds and limited circulation of air which helps the accumulation of pollutants. High temperatures increase the production of secondary, photochemical pollutants and the high humidity contributes to a hazy atmosphere. In addition cities are a major source of greenhouse gases which are thought to be responsible for the observed global warming trend.

This presentation will summarize current knowledge of urban influence on the local climate and discuss practical implications of such understanding. The background needed to understand why the presence of a city changes the local atmospheric environment is explained and examples of modifications are given. The relationship between urban climate and global environmental change will also be illustrated.


About the speaker

Matthias Roth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore. He holds MSc degrees from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich and the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver and a PhD from UBC. His research interests include micro and boundary-layer climatology with emphasis on the meteorology of the urban atmosphere. His current research projects include methodological considerations for urban observations of turbulence and the measurement of CO2 and energy balance fluxes in Singapore. Dr Roth is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (UK), a certified consulting meteorologist (CMOS, Canada), Secretary of the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC) and President-elect of IAUC.



Seminar on



Urban Climates and Global Environmental Change





Associate Professor Matthias Roth, Department of Geography

National University of Singapore



Friday 3 February 2006

6.00pm – 8.00pm

Executive Room 5

SDE 2 Level 3


All Are Welcome


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