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Land-use/land-cover change and its influence on surface temperature: a case study in Beijing City

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Rapid global economic development has resulted in a corresponding intensification of urbanization, which has in turn impacted the ecology of vast regions of the world. A series of problems have thus been introduced, such as changes in land-use/land-cover (LULC) and changes in local climate. The process of urbanization predominantly represents changes in land-use, and is deemed by researchers to be the chief cause of climate change and ecological change. One of the principal purposes of the research in this field is to find ways to mitigate the influence of land-use change on local or global environments. In the study presented in this article, satellite images were utilized to extract information regarding land-use in Beijing City, and to develop maps of land surface temperature (LST) during two different periods of time: 2 August 1999 and 8 August 2010. A supervised classification scheme, a support vector machine, was used to derive the land-use change map for the above periods. Maps of surface temperature are derived from the thermal band of Landsat images using the mono-window algorithm. Results from post-classification comparison indicated that an increase in impervious surface areas was found to be dramatic, while the area of farmland decreased rapidly. The changes in LULC were found to have led to a variation in surface temperature, as well as a spatial distribution pattern of the urban heat island phenomenon. This research revealed that the hotspots were mainly located in areas dominated by three kinds of material: bare soil, rooftops, and marble surfaces. Results from the local Moran's I index indicated that the use of lower surface temperature materials will help to mitigate the influence of the urban heat island phenomenon. The results of this research study provide a reference for government departments involved in the process of designing residential regions. Such a reference should enable the development of areas sympathetic to environmental changes and hence mitigate the effects of the growing intensity of urbanization.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Remote Sensing, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, People's Republic of China 2: Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China

Publication date: 10 August 2013

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