Urban warming and future air-conditioning use in an Asian megacity: importance of positive feedback

The impact of feedback between urban warming and air-conditioning (AC) use on temperatures in future urban climates is explored in this study conducted by
Yuya Takane et al. Pseudo-global warming projections are dynamically downscaled to 1 km using a regional climate model (RCM) coupled to urban canopy and building energy models for current and six future global warming (ΔTGW) climates based on IPCC RCP8.5.

Anthropogenic heat emissions from AC use is projected to increase almost linearly with ΔTGW, causing additional urban warming. This feedback on urban warming reaches 20% of ΔTGW in residential areas. This further uncertainty in future projections is comparable in size to that associated with: a selection of emission scenarios, RCMs, and urban planning scenarios.
Thus this feedback should not be neglected in future urban climate projections, especially in hot cities with large AC use. The impact of the feedback during the July 2018 Japanese heat waves is calculated to be 0.11 °C.

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