From: ScienceDaily
Published July 9, 2013 05:39 AM

Global Warming Down Under

Green spaces, trees and bodies of water are must-have design features for future development in Sydney's suburbs after researchers found that by 2050 global warming combined with Sydney's urban heat island effect could increase temperatures by up to 3.7°C.

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The researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science found new urban developments, such as the multitude of new estates on Sydney edges expected to house more than 100,000 residents, were prone to the greatest temperature increases.

"Interestingly, we found that overnight temperatures increased far more than temperatures during the day," said lead author from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science Dr Daniel Argueso.

"This has implications for health problems related to heat stress accumulation and at an economic level where the higher energy consumption needed to power air conditioning overnight may lead to higher power bills."

The urban heat island effect occurs because urban structures can store more heat than open ground. This accumulated heat is released during the night, which is why nighttime temperatures increase even more than daytime temperatures.

Sydney skyline photo via Shutterstock.

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