EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sensitivity of micro-scale atmospheric processes in a city quarter of Berlin, Germany on elevated meso-scale temperature forcing

Dieter Scherer, Katharina Scherber, Ute Fehrenbach, Fred Meier, Marco Otto, Benjamin Schmidt, Ralf Steikert, and Achim Holtmann
Dieter Scherer et al.
  • Technische Universität Berlin, Ecology, Climatology, Germany (

During heat waves, urban dwellers are exposed to elevated temperatures, especially during night-time when urban heat island (UHI) effects are most intense. Climate change is expected to further increase heat-stress hazards. There are only few studies that have investigated how UHI effects interfere with heat waves. Here, we present results from a sensitivity study in which we analyse non-linear effects of elevated meso-scale temperature forcing on micro-scale atmospheric processes. The study employs the large eddy simulation model PALM-4U. The ‘Tempelhofer Feld’ in Berlin, Germany, the largest park within the city, was used as study area. Starting point was a 24 h (plus 6 h spin-up) control simulation followed by a scenario simulation in which all temperature variables, not only air temperature, were increased by 1 K. The control simulation was configured to represent a real weather situation in an idealized form. Grid spacing was set to 10 m horizontally and 2 m vertically to resolve buildings and trees. A residential area to the east of the airport was simulated with a higher horizontal grid resolution of 2 m to investigate micro-scale atmospheric processes in more detail. The results show that the micro-scale response of near-surface air temperature to elevated meso-scale temperature forcing is not constant throughout the day with lower values during day-time and higher values during night-time, particularly in the early evening. In both simulations, the night-time inversion over the park continues into the settlement above the roof level. The study shows that there are weak non-linear effects leading to an amplification of the UHI during night-time. However, as linear effects dominate, adaptation measures with regard to heat stress may be planned on the basis of current weather and climate conditions, additionally documented by observational data, and subsequently evaluated by urban climate monitoring.

How to cite: Scherer, D., Scherber, K., Fehrenbach, U., Meier, F., Otto, M., Schmidt, B., Steikert, R., and Holtmann, A.: Sensitivity of micro-scale atmospheric processes in a city quarter of Berlin, Germany on elevated meso-scale temperature forcing, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-1326,, 2023.

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