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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-220
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-220
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: development and technical paper 30 Aug 2019

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 30 Aug 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

COSMO-BEP-Tree v1.0: a coupled urban climate model with explicit representation of street trees

Gianluca Mussetti1,2,3, Dominik Brunner1, Stephan Henne1, Jonas Allegrini2,3, E. Scott Krayenhoff4, Sebastian Schubert5, Christian Feigenwinter6, Roland Vogt6, Andreas Wicki6, and Jan Carmeliet3 Gianluca Mussetti et al.
  • 1Laboratory for Air Pollution/Environmental Technology, Empa, Dübendorf 8600, Switzerland
  • 2Laboratory of Multiscale Studies in Building Physics, Empa, Dübendorf 8600, Switzerland
  • 3Chair of Building Physics, ETH Zürich, Zürich 8093, Switzerland
  • 4School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph ON N1G 2W1, Canada
  • 5Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin 10099, Germany
  • 6Research Group Meteorology, Climatology, and Remote Sensing, University of Basel, Basel 4055, Switzerland

Abstract. Street trees are more and more regarded as an effective measure to reduce excessive heat in urban areas. However, the vast majority of mesoscale urban climate models do not represent street trees in an explicit manner and for example do not take the important effect of shading by trees into account. In addition, urban canopy models that take interactions of trees and urban fabrics directly into account are usually limited to the street or neighbourhood scale and, hence, cannot be used to analyse the citywide effect of urban greening. In order to represent the interactions between street trees, urban elements and the atmosphere in realistic regional weather and climate simulations, we coupled the vegetated urban canopy model BEP-Tree and the mesoscale weather and climate model COSMO. The performance and applicability of the coupled model, named COSMO-BEP-Tree, are demonstrated over the urban area of Basel, Switzerland, during the heatwave event of June–July 2015. Overall, the model compared well with measurements of individual components of the surface energy balance and with air and surface temperatures obtained from a flux tower, surface stations and satellites. Deficiencies were identified for night-time air temperature and humidity, which can mainly be traced back to limitations in the simulation of the night-time stable boundary layer in COSMO. The representation of street trees in the coupled model generally improved the agreement with observations. Street trees produced large changes in simulated sensible and latent heat flux, and wind speed. Within the canopy layer, the presence of street trees resulted in a slight reduction in daytime air temperature and a very minor increase in night-time air temperature. The model was found to realistically respond to changes in the parameters defining the street trees: leaf area density and stomatal conductance. Overall, COSMO-BEP-Tree demonstrated the potential of (a) enabling city-wide studies on the cooling potential of street trees and (b) further enhancing the modelling capabilities and performance in urban climate modelling studies.

Gianluca Mussetti et al.
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Status: open (until 25 Oct 2019)
Status: open (until 25 Oct 2019)
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Gianluca Mussetti et al.
Data sets

Data for "COSMO-BEP-Tree v1.0: a coupled urban climate model with explicit representation of street trees" G. Mussetti https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3377392

Model code and software

UCPgenerator v1.1 G. Mussetti https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3352214

Gianluca Mussetti et al.
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Short summary
Street trees are regarded as a powerful measure to reduce excessive heat in cities. To enable city-wide studies of the cooling effect of street trees, we developed a coupled urban climate model with explicit representation of street trees (COSMO-BEP-Tree). The model compares well with surface, flux and satellite observations and responds realistically to changes in tree characteristics. Street trees largely impact energy fluxes and wind speed, while air temperatures are only slightly reduced.
Street trees are regarded as a powerful measure to reduce excessive heat in cities. To enable...
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