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  • Author: Hana Středová x
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Smart tools of urban climate evaluation for smart spatial planning

Abstract

Air temperature and humidity conditions were monitored in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, by a network of meteorological stations. Meteorological sensors were placed across a representative variety of urban and suburban environments. The data collected over the 2011–2014 period are analysed in this paper. The data from reference standard meteorological stations were used for comparison and modelling purposes. Air temperatures at the points of interest were successfully modelled using regression relationships. The spatial expression of point measurements of air temperatures was provided by GIS methods in combination with CORINE land cover layer, and satellite thermal images were used to evaluate the significance of these methods. The use of standard climate information has low priority for urban planners. The impact of the urban heat island on city residents and visitors was evaluated using the HUMIDEX index, as it is more understandable for urban planners than temperature conditions as such. The aim of this paper is the modification, description and presentation of urban climate evaluation methods that are easily useable for spatial planning purposes. These methods are based on comprehensible, easily available but quality data and results. This unified methodology forms a theoretical basis for better urban planning policies to mitigate the urban heat island effects.

Open access
A universal meteorological method to identify potential risk of wind erosion on heavy-textured soils

Abstract

The climate of Central Europe, mainly winter seasons with no snow cover at lower altitudes and a spring drought as well, might cause erosion events on heavy-textured soils. The aim of this paper is to define a universal method to identify the potential risk of wind erosion on heavy-textured soils. The categorization of potential wind erosion risk due to meteorological conditions is based on: (i) an evaluation of the number of freeze-thaw episodes forming bare soil surfaces during the cold period of year; and (ii), an evaluation of the number of days with wet soil surfaces during the cold period of year. In the period 2001–2012 (from November to March), episodes with temperature changes from positive to negative and vice versa (thaw-freeze and freeze-thaw cycles) and the effects of wet soil surfaces in connection with aggregate disintegration, are identified. The data are spatially interpolated by GIS tools for areas in the Czech Republic with heavy-textured soils. Blending critical categories is used to locate potential risks. The level of risk is divided into six classes. Those areas identified as potentially most vulnerable are the same localities where the highest number of erosive episodes on heavy-textured soils was documented.

Open access
Effects of light pollution on tree phenology in the urban environment

Abstract

Research on urban climates has been an important topic in recent years, given the growing number of city inhabitants and significant influences of climate on health. Nevertheless, far less research has focused on the impacts of light pollution, not only on humans, but also on plants and animals in the landscape. This paper reports a study measuring the intensity of light pollution and its impact on the autumn phenological phases of tree species in the town of Zvolen (Slovakia). The research was carried out at two housing estates and in the central part of the town in the period 2013–2016. The intensity of ambient nocturnal light at 18 measurement points was greater under cloudy weather than in clear weather conditions. Comparison with the ecological standard for Slovakia showed that average night light values in the town centre and in the housing estate with an older type of public lighting, exceeded the threshold value by 5 lux. Two tree species, sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) and staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina L.), demonstrated sensitivity to light pollution. The average onset of the autumn phenophases in the crown parts situated next to the light sources was delayed by 13 to 22 days, and their duration was prolonged by 6 to 9 days. There are three major results: (i) the effects of light pollution on organisms in the urban environment are documented; (ii) the results provide support for a theoretical and practical basis for better urban planning policies to mitigate light pollution effects on organisms; and (iii) some limits of the use of plant phenology as a bioindicator of climate change are presented.

Open access