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Modeling The Urban Impact On Semiarid Surface Climate: A Case Study In Marrakesh, MoroccoWe combine Landsat and MODIS data in the Simple Biosphere Model to assess the impact of urbanization on surface climate in a semiarid city in North Africa. The model simulates highest temperatures in urban class, with spring average maximum temperature differences to other land cover classes ranging between 1.6 C and 6.0 C. During summer, these maximum temperature differences are smallest (0.5 C) with barelands and highest (8.3 C) with irrigated lawns. This excess heating is simulated above and beyond a seasonal temperature average of about 30 C during spring and 44 C during summer. On annual mean, a full urbanization scenario decreases the carbon fixation by 0.13 MtC and increases the daytime mean surface temperature by 1.3 C. This may boost the city energy consumption by 5.72%. Under a 'smart growth' scenario, whereby the city expands on barelands to cover 50% of the study region and all remaining barelands converted to orchards, the carbon fixation is enhanced by 0.04 MtC with a small daytime temperature increase of 0.2 C. Our results indicate that vegetation can mitigate the urban heating. The hydrological cycle indicates that highest ratio of surface runoff to precipitation (43.8%) occurs in urban areas, versus only 16.7 % for all cover types combined.
Document ID
Document Type
Accepted Manuscript (Version with final changes)
Lachir, Asia (Cadi Ayyad Univ. Marrakesh, Morocco)
Bounoua, Lahouari (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Zhang, Ping (Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Thome, Kurtis (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Messouli, Mohamed (Cadi Ayyad Univ. Marrakesh, Morocco)
Date Acquired
November 3, 2015
Publication Date
June 7, 2016
Publication Information
Publication: Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume: 42
Issue: 4
ISSN: 1712-7971
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
surface climate

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