Modeling the Effect of Desert Urbanization on Local Climate and Natural Dust Generation: A Case Study for Erbil, Iraq

Sherzad T. Tahir, Huei Ping Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study uses a suite of meteorological and land-surface models to quantify the changes in local climate and surface dust fluxes associated with desert urbanization. Formulas connecting friction velocity and soil moisture to dust generation are used to quantify surface fluxes for natural wind-blown dust. The models are used to conduct a series of simulations for the desert city of Erbil across a period of rapid urbanization. The results show significant nighttime warming and weak but robust daytime cooling associated with desert urbanization. A slight reduction in near-surface wind speed is also found in the areas undergoing urbanization. These findings are consistent with previous empirical and modeling studies on other desert cities. Numerical models and empirical formulas are used to produce climatological maps of surface dust fluxes as a function of season, and for the pre- and post-urbanization eras. This framework can potentially be used to bridge the gap in observation on the trends in local dust generation associated with land-use changes and urban expansions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number46
JournalUrban Science
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • climate
  • desert cities
  • natural dust generation
  • urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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