Temporal variability of the urban heat island in Zaragoza (Spain)





urban climate, Urban Heat Island (UHI), wind speed, Zaragoza, Spain


We analyse the temporal intensity and variability of the urban heat island (UHI) in the city of Zaragoza (Spain), and assess the role of wind as an important atmospheric conditioning factor. Based on the time data provided by the city’s urban mesoscale meteorological network, the temperature difference between two observatories, one urban (Plaza Santa Marta) and one located on the outskirts of the urban area (Ciudad Deportiva), was calculated for the 2015-2020 period. The results indicate that the temperature in the city centre is very frequently 1º or 2ºC higher than in the surroundings, sometimes even more than 8ºC higher. The UHI is more intense in summer (an average of 2.5ºC per hour) than in winter (an average of 2.2ºC per hour) and more intense during the night than during the day. The maximum UHI value is reached in calm atmospheric situations; however, this value is very limited with winds over 10 km/h and it practically disappears with wind speeds over 50 km/h.


Download data is not yet available.


Alcoforado, M.J., Matzarakis A. 2010. Planning with urban climate in different climatic zones. Geographicalia 57, 5-39. http://doi.org/10.26754/ojs_geoph/geoph.201057808

Alcoforado, M.J., Lopes, A., Lima, E., Canário, P. 2014. Lisboa Heat Island. Statistical study (2004-2014). Finisterra 98, 61-80. https://doi.org/10.18055/Finis6456

Alonso, M.S., Fidalgo, M.R., Labajo, J.L. 2007. The urban heat island in Salamanca (Spain) and its relationship to meteorological parameters. Climate Research 34, 39–46. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr034039

Ascaso, A. 1969. Contaminación y contaminadores atmosféricos. El problema en Zaragoza. Las Ciencias 1, 22-34.

Barrao, S., Cuadrat, J.M., Saz, M.A., Serrano-Notivoli, R., Tejedor, E. 2020. Olas de calor y olas de frío en la ciudad de Zaragoza (España) y sus efectos sobre las enfermedades cardiorrespiratorias, 2011-2015. En: VVAA, Crisis y espacios de oportunidad. Retos para la Geografía. Asociación Española de Geografía, Valencia, págs. 343-358. ISBN: 978-84-947 787-2-8.

Calvo-Palacios, J.L. 1976. Aportación metodológica al estudio geográfico del microclima urbano. Boletín de la Real Sociedad Geográfica 42, 95-110.

Camilloni, I., Barrucand, M. 2012. Temporal variability of the Buenos Aires, Argentina, urban heat island. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 107, 47–58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-011-0459-z

Cuadrat, J.M., Vicente-Serrano, S., Saz, M.A. 2005. Los efectos de la urbanización en el clima de Zaragoza (España): la isla de calor y sus factores condicionantes. Boletín de la AGE 40, 311-327. https://bage.age-geografia.es/ojs/index.php/bage/article/view/2019

Cuadrat, J.M. 2004. Patrones temporales de la isla de calor urbana de Zaragoza. En: M.C. Faus (Coord.), Aportaciones geográficas en homenaje al profesor Higueras. Publ. Universidad de Zaragoza. Zaragoza, págs. 63-70. ISBN: 84-96214-32-X.

Cuadrat, J.M. 1999. El clima de Aragón. Institución Fernando El Católico. Zaragoza. ISBN 84-88305-72-9.

Cuadrat, J.M., De La Riva, J., López, F., Martí, A. 1993. El medio ambiente urbano en Zaragoza. Observaciones sobre la isla de calor. Anales Universidad Complutense 13, 127-138. https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/AGUC/article/view/AGUC9393110127A

Cuadrat, J.M., Vicente-Serrano, S., Saz, M.A. 2015. Influence of different factors on relative air humidity in Zaragoza, Spain. Frontiers in Earth Science 3 (10). https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2015.00010

De La Riva, J., Cuadrat, J.M., López, F., Martí A. 1997. Aplicación de las imágenes Landsat TM al estudio de la isla de calor térmica de Zaragoza. Geographicalia 35, 24-36. https://doi.org/10.26754/ojs_geoph/geoph.1997351701

Fenner, D., Meier, F., Scherer, D., Polze, A. 2014. Spatial and temporal air temperature variability in Berlin, Germany, during the years 2001–2010. Urban Climate 10, 308–331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.uclim.2014.02.004

Fernández, F. 2009. Ciudad y cambio climático: aspectos generales y aplicación al área metropolitana de Madrid. Investigaciones Geográficas 49, 173-195. https://doi.org/10.14198/INGEO2009.49.09

Fernández, F., Galán, E., Cañada, R. 1998. Clima y ambiente urbano en ciudades ibéricas e iberoamericanas. Editorial Parteluz, 215 p. Madrid, ISBN: 84-8230-016-4

Gedzelman, S.D., Austin, S., Cermak, R. N., Stefano, R., Partridge, S., Quesenberry, S., Robinson, D.A. 2003. Mesoscale aspects of the Urban Heat Island around New York City. Theoretical and Applied Climatology 75, 29-42. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-002-0724-2

Hogan, A.W., Ferrick, M.G. 1988. Observations in nonurban heat islands. Journal of Applied Meteorology 37, 232-236. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450(1998)037<0232:OINHI>2.0.CO;2

Howard, L. 1818. The Climate of London. Longman, London., 221 p.

Jauregui, E. 1997. Heat island development in Mexico City. Atmospheric Environment 31, 3821-3831. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1352-2310(97)00136-2

Kim, Y.H., Baik, J. J. 2002. Maximum urban heat island intensity in Seoul. Journal of Applied Meteorology 41, 651–659. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450.

Kolokotroni, M., Giridharan, R. 2008. Urban heat island intensity in London: an investigation of the impact of physical characteristics on changes in outdoor air temperature during summer. Solar Energy 82, 986-998. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2008.05.004

Lokoshchenko, M.A. 2014. Urban heat island in Moscow. Urban Climate 10 (3), 550-562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.uclim.2014.01.008

Lopes, A., Alves, E., Alcoforado, M.J., Machete, R. 2013. Lisbon Urban Heat Island Updated: New Highlights about the Relationships between Thermal Patterns and Wind Regimes. Advances in Meteorology 15, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/487695.

López-Martín, F. 2011. Clima urbano y ciudad. El caso de Zaragoza. Universidad San Jorge-Colegio de Geógrafos. Zaragoza, 118 p. ISBN: 978-84-615-2098-5.

Martín-Vide, J., Sarricolea, P., Moreno-García, M. C. 2015a. On the definition of urban heat island intensity: the “rural” reference. Frontiers in Earth Science 3, 3 p. https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2015.00024

Martín-Vide, J., Cordobilla, M.J., Artola, V.M., Moreno-García, M.C. 2015b. La isla de calor en el Área Metropolitana de Barcelona y la adaptación al cambio climático. Barcelona, Área Metropolitana de Barcelona. 120 p.

Morris, C.J., Simmonds, I., Plummer, N. 2001. Quantification of the influences of wind and cloud on the nocturnal urban heat island of a large city. Journal of Applied Meteorology 40, 169-182. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450

Oke, T.R., 1982. The energetic basis of the urban heat island. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 108, 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.49710845502

Oke, T.R. 1995. The heat island of the urban boundary layer: characteristics, causes and effects. En: J.E. Cermak, A.G. Davenport, E.J. Plate, D.X., Viegas, (Eds.). Wind Climate in Cities. Kluwer-Academic Publ. Norwell, 81-107. ISBN 978-94-017-3686-2

Oke, T.R. 1996. Boundary layer climates. 2nd ed. Routledge, London. ISBN 0-415-04319-0

Oke, T.R., Hannell, F.G. 1970. The form of the urban heat island in Hamilton, Canada. WMO Tech Note 108, págs. 113–126.

Román, E., Gómez, G., de Luxán, M. 2017. Urban Heat Island of Madrid and its influence over Urban Thermal Comfort. In: Mercader-Moyano, P. (Eds.). Sustainable Development and Renovation in Architecture, Urbanism and Engineering. Springer, Cham, pp 415-425. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51442-0_34

Steinecke, K. 1999. Urban climatological studies in the Reykjavík subartic environment, Iceland. Atmospheric Environment 33, 4157-4162. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1352-2310(99)00158-2

Stewart, I., Oke, T.R. 2012. Local Climate Zones for Urban Temperature Studies. Bulletin American Meteorological Society 93 (12), 1879–1900. http://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-11-00019.1

Stewart, I.D. 2010. A systematic review and scientific critique of methodology in modern urban heat island literature. International Journal of Climatology 31, 200-217. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.2141

Taylor, J., Wilkinson, P., Davies, M., Armstrong, B., Chalabi, Z., Mavrogianni, A., Symonds, P., Oikonomou, E., Bohnenstengel, S. 2015. Mapping the effects of urban heat island, housing, and age on excess heat-related mortality in London. Urban Climate 14, pp.517–528 http://doi.org/10.1016/j.uclim.2015.08.001

Tejedor, E., Cuadrat, J.M., Saz, M.A., Serrano-Notivoli, R., López, N., Aladrén, M. 2016. Islas de calor y confort térmico en Zaragoza durante la ola de calor de julio de 2015. En: J. Olcina, A. Rico, E. Moltó (Eds). Clima, sociedad, riesgos y ordenación del territorio. Asociación Española de Climatología. Vol. 10. Alicante, págs. 141-152. http://doi.org/10.14198/XCongresoAECAlicante2016-13

Yagüe, C., Zurita, E., Martínez, A. 1991. Statistical analysis of the Madrid urban heat island. Atmospheric Environment 25B, 327-332. https://doi.org/10.1016/0957-1272(91)90004-X



How to Cite

Cuadrat JM, Serrano-Notivoli R, Barrao S, Saz M Ángel, Tejedor E. Temporal variability of the urban heat island in Zaragoza (Spain). CIG [Internet]. 2022 May 17 [cited 2023 Mar. 30];48(1):97-110. Available from: https://publicaciones.unirioja.es/ojs/index.php/cig/article/view/5022