Chapter Earth Observation for Urban Climate Monitoring: Surface Cover and Land Surface Temperature
The rate at which global climate change is happening is arguably the most pressing environmental challenge of the century, and it affects our cities. Climate change exerts added stress on urban areas through increased numbers of heat waves threatening people’s well-being and, in many cases, human lives. Earth observation (EO) systems and the advances in remote sensing technology increase the opportunities for monitoring the thermal behavior of cities. The Sentinels constitute the first series of operational satellites for Copernicus, a program launched to provide data, information, services, and knowledge in support of Europe’s goals regarding sustainable development and global governance of the environment. This chapter examines the exploitation of EO data for monitoring the urban climate, with particular focus on the urban surface cover and temperature. Two example applications are analyzed: the mapping of the urban surface and its characteristics, using EO data and the estimation of urban temperatures. Approaches, like the ones described in this chapter, can become operational once adapted to Sentinels, since their long-term operation plan guarantees the future supply of satellite observations. Thus, the described methods may support planning activities related to climate change mitigation and adaptation in cities, as well as routine urban planning activities.
KeywordsEarth observation, Copernicus Sentinels, urban climate, satellite remote sensing
Publication date and place2018
Geographical information systems (GIS) & remote sensing