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Keywords:

  • urban energy balance;
  • heat storage;
  • insulation

Abstract

In the first part of this article, we introduced a new urban surface scheme, the Met Office – Reading Urban Surface Exchange Scheme (MORUSES), into the Met Office Unified Model (MetUM) and compared its impact on the surface fluxes with respect to the current urban scheme. In this second part, we aim to analyze further the reasons behind the differences. This analysis is conducted by a comparison of the performance of the two schemes against observations and against a third model, the Single Column Reading Urban model (SCRUM). The key differences between the three models lie in how each model incorporates the heat stored in the urban fabric and how the surface-energy balance is coupled to the underlying substrate.

The comparison of the models with observations from Mexico City reveals that the performance of MORUSES is improved if roof insulation is included by minimizing the roof thickness. A comparison of MORUSES and SCRUM reveals that, once insulation is included within MORUSES, these two models perform equally well against the observations overall, but that there are differences in the details of the simulations at the roof and canyon level. These differences are attributed to the different representations of the heat-storage term, specifically differences in the dominant frequencies captured by the urban canopy and substrate, between the models. These results strongly suggest a need for an urban model intercomparison exercise. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright