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Linkages between the Urban Environment and Earth's Climate SystemUrbanization is one of the extreme cases of land use change. Although currently only 1.2% of the land is considered urban, the spatial coverage and density of cities are expected to rapidly increase in the near future. It is estimated that by the year 2025 60% of the world s population will live in cities (UNFP, 1999). Though urban areas are local in scale, human activity in urban environments has impacts at local, to global scale by changing atmospheric composition; impacting components of the water cycle; and modifying the carbon cycle 2nd ecosystems. For example, urban dwellers are undoubtedly familiar with "high" ozone pollution days, flash flooding in city streets, or heat stress on summer days. However, our understanding of urbanization on the total Earth-climate system is incomplete. Better understanding of how the Earth s weather, oceans, and land work together and the influence of the urban environment on this climate system is critical. This paper highlights some of the major and current issues involving interactions between urban environments and the Earth's climate system. It also captures some of the most current thinking and findings of the authors and key experts in the field.
Document ID
Document Type
Shepherd, J. Marshall
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Jin, Menglin
(Maryland Univ. College Park, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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