Recent Trends and Future Predictions until 2060 of Urban Warming in Four Israeli Cities Employing the RegCM Climate Model

Hofit Itzhak-Ben-Shalom, Rana Samuels, Oded Potchter, Pinhas Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During periods of global warming (GW), expected increases in urban temperatures
can have adverse impacts on city climate and thermal discomfort due to combined
urban and global warming effects. The different climates in four cities in Israel are
studied for the purpose of differentiating global vs. urban warming. Trends in urban and nearby rural areas were compared in order to estimate the urbanization effect on the local climate zones. Daily 06:00 and 15:00 Local Time (LT) temperatures for July 1980-2014 were investigated. The linear relationship between the urban warming and population growth observed in present climate data is assumed to continue into the near future. The Regional Climate Model (RegCM) temperature trends into the 21st century are assumed to represent primarily the GW because of the relatively coarse grid interval of 25 km. Hence, this study first differentiates between global and local warming past trends, and then uses this past result to make future projections that consider both factors. A unique feature of this study is the large climatic variety over Israel—a small country that encompasses no less than 5 different Köppen climatic
zones. The urban minus rural temperature (1980-2014) changes, ΔTu-r, show more intense warming in the afternoon in all 4 cities. For instance, in Jerusalem and Eilat, the ΔTu-r has increased by ~1.2˚C. Following the RegCM predictions, by 2060 with “No population growth”, this temperature increase is expected to continue, by 1.114˚C and 1.119˚C, respectively. If, however, these cities grow rapidly, air temperature will increase by 2.937˚C - 4.129˚C and 2.778˚C - 3.939˚C, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-484
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican journal of climate change
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • urban climatic planning
  • Climatic conditions
  • Future
  • Global warming
  • Israel


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