Inclusion of vegetation in the Town Energy Balance model for modeling urban green areas

A. Lemonsu, Centre National de Météorologiques, L. Shashua-Bar, E. Erell, D. Pearlmutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cities impact both local climate, through urban heat islands, and global climate, because they are an area of heavy greenhouse gas release into the atmosphere due to heating, air conditioning and traffic. Including more vegetation into cities is a planning strategy having possible positive impacts for both concerns. Improving vegetation representation into urban models will allow to address more accurately these questions. This paper presents an improvement of the TEB urban canopy model. Vegetation is directly included inside the canyon, allowing shadowing of grass by buildings, better representation of urban canopy form, and, a priori, a more accurate simulation of canyon air microclimate. The development is performed so that any vegetation model can be used to represent the vegetation part. Here the ISBA model is used. The model results are compared to microclimatic and evaporation measurements performed in small courtyards in a very arid region of Israel. Two experimental landscaping strategies - bare soil or irrigated grass in the courtyard - are observed and simulated. The new version of the model with integrated vegetation performs better than if vegetation is treated outside the canyon. Surface temperatures are closer to the observations, especially at night when radiative trapping is important. The integrated vegetation version simulates a more humid air inside the canyon. The microclimatic quantities are better simulated with this new version. This opens opportunities to study with better accuracy the urban microclimate, down to the micro (or canyon) scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1340
JournalGeoscientific Model Development Discussions
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 May 2012


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