From urban to national heat island: The effect of anthropogenic heat output on climate change in high population industrial countries

Murray, John and Heggie, Douglas (2016). From urban to national heat island: The effect of anthropogenic heat output on climate change in high population industrial countries. Earth's Future, 4(6) pp. 298–304.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016ef000352

Abstract

The project presented here sought to determine whether changes in anthropogenic thermal emission can have a measurable effect on temperature at the national level, taking Japan and Great Britain as type examples. Using energy consumption as a proxy for thermal emission, strong correlations (mean r2 = 0.90 and 0.89, respectively) are found between national equivalent heat output (HO) and temperature above background levels Δt averaged over 5‐ to 8‐yr periods between 1965 and 2013, as opposed to weaker correlations for CMIP5 model temperatures above background levels Δmt (mean r2 = 0.52 and 0.10). It is clear that the fluctuations in Δt are better explained by energy consumption than by present climate models, and that energy consumption can contribute to climate change at the national level on these timescales.

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