This study utilizes a satellite-based methodology to assess the urban heat-island influence during warm season months for over 4400 stations included in the Global Historical Climatology Network of climate stations. The methodology includes local and regional satellite retrievals of an indicator of the presence green photosynthetically active vegetation at and around the stations. The difference in local and regional samples of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used to estimate differences in mean air temperature. Stations classified as urban averaged 0.90??C (N. Hemisphere) and 0.92??C (S. Hemisphere) warmer than the surrounding environment on the basis of the NDVI-derived temperature estimates. Additionally, stations classified as rural averaged 0.19??C (N. Hemisphere) and 0.16??C (S. Hemisphere) warmer than the surrounding environment. The NDVI-derived temperature estimates were found to be in reasonable agreement with temperature differences observed between climate stations. The results suggest that satellite-derived data sets can be used to estimate the urban heat-island temperature influence on a global basis and that a more detailed analysis of rural stations and their surrounding environment may be necessary to assure that temperature trends derived from assumed rural environments are not influenced by changes in land use/land cover. Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
Satellite-based detection of global urban heat-island temperature influence