Saturday 19 April 2014

Heat rising from cities 'warms' rural winters

HEAT rising up from cities such as New York, Paris and Tokyo might be remotely warming up winters far away in rural parts of Alaska, Canada and Siberia, a surprising study theorises.

In contrast, urban heat from buildings and cars may be slightly cooling the autumns in much of the western United States, eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, according to the study published in the journal 'Nature Climate Change'.

It's long been thought that the urban heat stayed close to the cities.

But the study, based on a computer model and the Northern Hemisphere, now suggests the heat does something else, albeit indirectly.

It travels about 800 metres up into the air and then its energy changes the high-altitude currents that dictate prevailing weather.

The computer model showed that parts of Siberia and northwestern Canada may get, on average, an extra 0.8 to 1C during the winter, which "may not be a bad thing''.

Irish Independent

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