EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

CORDEX Flagship Pilot Study on Urbanization - URBan environments and Regional Climate Change (URB-RCC)

Tomas Halenka1 and Gaby Langendijk2
Tomas Halenka and Gaby Langendijk
  • 1Charles University, Fac. of Mathematics and Physics, Prague, Czechia (
  • 2Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon

Cities play fundamental role on climate at local to regional scales through modification of heat and moisture fluxes, as well as affecting local atmospheric chemistry and composition, alongside air-pollution dispersion. Vice versa, regional climate change impacts urban areas and is expected to increasingly affect cities and their citizens in the upcoming decades, because the share of the population living in urban areas is growing, and is projected to reach about 70% of the world population up to 2050. This is especially critical in connection to extreme events, for instance heat waves with extremely high temperatures exacerbated by the urban heat island effect, in particular during night-time, with consequences for human health.

In 2013, the CORDEX community identified cities to be one of the prime scientific challenges. Therefore, we proposed this topic to become an activity at CORDEX platform, within the framework of so called flagship pilot studies, which was accepted and the FPS URB-RCC activity has been started in May 2021.

The main goal of this FPS is to understand the effect of urban areas on the regional climate, as well as the impact of regional climate change on cities, with the help of coordinated experiments with urbanized RCMs. While the urban climate with all the complex processes has been studied for decades, there is a significant gap to incorporate this knowledge into RCMs. This FPS aims to bridge this gap, leading the way to include urban parameterization schemes as a standard component in RCM simulations, especially at  high resolutions.

From the perspective of recent regional climate models development with increasing resolution down to the city scale, proper parameterization of urban processes is important to understand local/regional climate change. The inclusion of the individual urban processes affecting energy balance and transport (i.e. heat, humidity, momentum fluxes) via special urban land-use parameterization of local processes becomes vital to simulate the urban effects properly. This will enable improved assessment of climate change impacts in the cities and inform adaptation and/or mitigation options, as well as prepare for climate related risks (e.g. heat waves, smog conditions etc.). More detailed discussion of the RCMs simulations available with urban parameterization and methods already in use will be presented.

How to cite: Halenka, T. and Langendijk, G.: CORDEX Flagship Pilot Study on Urbanization - URBan environments and Regional Climate Change (URB-RCC), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11040,, 2022.