Urban Heat Island (UHI) is a climate phenomenon that results in an increased air temperature in cities when compared to their rural surroundings. In this paper, the dependence of UHI on urban geometry is studied. Multi-year urban-rural temperature differences and building footprints data combined with a heat radiation scaling model are used to demonstrate for more than 50 cities world-wide that city texture – measured by a building distribution function and the sky view factor – explains city-to-city variations in nocturnal UHI. Our results show a strong correlation between nocturnal UHI and the city texture.
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