China's growing, sprawling cities said causing climate changes

May 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

BEIJING, May 13 (UPI) -- Urbanization in eastern China has a significant impact on the observed surface warming that plays an essential role in regional climate change, scientists say.

Intensive urbanization in China since the 1980s has not only altered surface vegetation distribution but has also affected surface energy and water balance, research leader Yang XiuQun of the School of Atmospheric Sciences at Nanjing University said.

Writing in the journal Chinese Science Bulletin, the researchers said they set out study the effect of urbanization on surface air temperature change, detect the seasonal variation of urban warming in different regions, and analyze the impact of urbanization on maximum and minimum temperatures.

Findings showed urbanization induced summer warming in the Yangtze River Delta region and a winter warming in the city cluster of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the researchers said.

The finding that urbanization has considerable influence on regional climate change means urban planning must take that into account and efforts made to mitigate surface warming, they said.

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