Measuring nocturnal near-surface urban heat island intensity in the small, mid-latitude city of Inverness, Scotland

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Abstract

Few publications have considered the urban heat island (UHI) effect in small settlements. This paper, therefore, presents the findings of a UHI study conducted in the small, mid-latitude city of Inverness, Scotland (population: 63,220). The study aimed to provide an initial appraisal of the scale of UHI phenomena in Inverness and to understand the factors associated with its presence. Mobile vehicular traverses of a study transect were conducted on 30 dates during June, July & August 2019. Measurements of near-surface air temperature were recorded at 19 local climate zone observation points between 20:00 and 23:00 BST. Daily mean UHI intensity (UHII) during the study ranged from 0.7 to 3.5°C, with an overall mean UHII of 1.6°C. Land use characteristics impacted the UHII, with areas with higher fractions of impervious surface cover returning significantly higher air temperatures. UHII increased with the onset of sunset, and the highest UHII occurred on dates with up to 1–2 oktas of cloud cover, low relative humidity, and high cloud base height. The results align with previous studies and comparisons are drawn between Inverness and other settlements globally. Further research in Inverness is recommended to better understand UHI effects and influence national planning policy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • urban heat island
  • small city
  • Inverness
  • urbanisation
  • sustainable development
  • planning policy

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