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Seasonal Variation in Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Building Areas and in Green Spaces in Beijing, China

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Abstract

The cooling and humidifying effects of urban parks are an essential component of city ecosystems in terms of regulating microclimates or mitigating urban heat islands (UHIs). Air temperature and relative humidity are two main factors of thermal environmental comfort and have a critical impact on the urban environmental quality of human settlements. We measured the 2-m height air temperature and relative humidity at the Beijing Olympic Park and a nearby building roof for more than 1 year to elucidate seasonal variations in air temperature and relative humidity, as well as to investigate the outdoor thermal comfort. The results showed that the lawn of the park could, on average, reduce the air temperature by (0.80±0.19)°C, and increase the relative humidity by (5.24±2.91)% relative to the values measured at the building roof during daytime. During the nighttime, the lawn of the park reduced the air temperature by (2.64±0.64)°C and increased the relative humidity by (10.77±5.20)%. The park was cooler and more humid than surrounding building area, especially in night period (more pronounced cooling with 1.84 °C). Additionally, the lawn of the park could improve outdoor thermal comfort through its cooling and humidifying effects. The level of thermal comfort in the park was higher than that around the building roof for a total of 11 days annually in which it was above one or more thermal comfort levels (average reduced human comfort index of 0.92) except during the winter.

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Correspondence to Wenhui Kuang.

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Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41871343), Major Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41590842); Strategic Priority Research Program A of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA23100201)

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Kuang, W. Seasonal Variation in Air Temperature and Relative Humidity on Building Areas and in Green Spaces in Beijing, China. Chin. Geogr. Sci. 30, 75–88 (2020) doi:10.1007/s11769-020-1097-0

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Keywords

  • air temperature
  • relative humidity
  • outdoor thermal comfort
  • urban park planning