Scientists predict what the future holds for the city

A new study by engineer Lei Zhao from the University of Illinois at Urbana highlights

that cities with more than 50%of the world's population are subject to tremendous heat stress, water shortages, air pollution and lack of energy security due to their layout and high population density. In suburban and rural areas, the situation is not so critical.

“The cities have concrete and asphalt surfaces,which absorb and retain more heat than natural surfaces. This and other factors disrupt other biophysical processes at a local level, explains Zhao, professor of civil and environmental engineering. - Incorporating these types of fine-scale variables into climate modeling is critical to understanding the future of urban climate. However, it is not that easy. "

Global climate models predictfuture scenarios by modeling larger processes such as greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. By combining this method with a statistical model that simulates a complex and detailed climate model for urban landscapes, Zhao's team bridged the information gap between urban and global areas.

Zhao said the model predicts that by the end of this century, average warming in global cities will increase by 1.9 ° C, with intermediate temperature rises and 4.4 ° C.

Projections also predict an almost universal decline in urban relative humidity.

The scientist noted that the forecasts do not take into account the impact of future urban development.

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