Mechanism of precipitation increase with urbanization in Tokyo as revealed by ensemble climate simulations.

  • Kusaka, H., K. Nawata, A. Suzuki-Parker, Y. Takane, and N. Furuhashi, 2014: Mechanism of precipitation increase with urbanization in Tokyo as revealed by ensemble climate simulations. J. Appl. Meteor. Clim., 53, 824-839. 2014/04/01(Acknowledgement: SOUSEI, RECCA) (Citations:(web of science:6times, google scholar:16times)) .

This study examines how urbanization affects the precipitation climatology in Tokyo, Japan. A unique aspect of this study is that an ensemble, regional climatological simulation approach is used with sensitivity experiments to reduce uncertainty arising from nonlinearity in the precipitation simulations. Another aspect is that the robustness of the precipitation response is tested with “stress response” simulations with increasing urban forcing. The results show that urbanization causes a robust increase in the amount of precipitation in the Tokyo metropolitan area and a reduction in the inland areas. These anomalies are statistically significant at the 95% and 99% levels in some parts. There is no measureable change in the surrounding rural and ocean areas. These precipitation responses are attributed to an increase of surface sensible heat flux in Tokyo, which destabilizes the atmosphere and induces an anomalous surface low pressure pattern and the convergence of grid-scale horizontal moisture flux. The anomalous convergence of grid-scale horizontal moisture flux is a consequence of urbanization modifying the sea breeze.

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