A review of methods for estimating anthropogenic heat and moisture emissions in the urban environment

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210 Scopus citations


Energy consumption in the urban environment impacts the urban surface energy budget and leads to the emission of anthropogenic sensible heat and moisture into the atmosphere. Anthropogenic heat and moisture emissions vary significantly both in time and space, and are not readily measured. As a result, detailed models of these emissions are not commonly available for most cities. Furthermore, most attempts to quantify anthropogenic emissions have focused on the sensible heat component, largely ignoring moisture emissions and invoking assumptions-such as the equivalence of energy consumption and anthropogenic sensible heating-which limit the accuracy of the resulting anthropogenic heating estimates. This paper provides a historical perspective of the development of models of energy consumption in the urban environment and the associated anthropogenic impacts on the urban energy balance. It highlights some fundamental limitations of past approaches and suggests a roadmap forward for including anthropogenic heat and moisture in modelling of the urban environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-199
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011



  • Anthropogenic heat
  • Energy use
  • Waste heat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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