PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (6): 720-731.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.06.007

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Guangzhou-Foshan urban integration and its urban heat island effects

Shili CHEN1,2(), Xun LI1,2,*(), Anqi LAI3, Qi FAN3, Xuemei WANG3   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Urbanization Institute of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    3. Department of Atmosphere Sciencs, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Online:2017-06-20 Published:2017-06-20
  • Contact: Xun LI;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41271138;Special Funds for Scientific Research of Public Welfare Industry(Meteorology), No.GYHY201406031


Under the new-normal mechanism of coordinated regional development, the trend of urban integration has been gathering momentum and consequently intensifying urban heat island effects. Spatial-temporal changes in urban heat island effects are a result of interactions between changing land-use pattern, underlying surface variation, and human activities. Base on the case of the Guangzhou-Foshan urban integration area, this study examined the changing intensities of urban heat island effects in the heightened process of Guangzhou-Foshan integration. Apart from analyzing the land-use classification data in the Pearl River Delta as well as formulating a meteorological numerical model—Weather & Research Forecasting Model (WRF), this research aimed to ascertain the determinant factors of urban heat island effects through the following methodology: (1) use the constantly changing nightlight data to investigate the expansion of built-up areas in the Guangzhou-Foshan region between 2000 and 2010; (2) use data on population density, household numbers, and total output values to conduct correlation and multiple regression analyses with the variation of air humidity to reflect the intensity of urban heat island effects in the Guangzhou-Foshan urban integration area. The research findings show that, with the development of Guangzhou-Foshan integration, temperature of the Liwan, Nanhai, Baiyun, Sanshui, Panyu, and Shunde areas at the junction of Guangzhou and Foshan is clearly higher than that of other areas, and the monthly mean relative humidity is clearly lower than other regions, which results in the formation of a large-scale urban heat island and urban dry island. Meanwhile, the size of the built-up area in the city-region is a major factor contributing to the intensity of urban heat island effects in the Guangzhou-Foshan urban integration area. Considerable intensifying impact has also been brought about by population growth and resultant increase in regional output values, the correlation coefficient of the two exceeded 0.68, which indicates that human activities and changes in land-use pattern have also played their part.

Key words: urban heat island effect, Weather & Research Forecasting Model (WRF), nightlight data, Guangzhou-Foshan urban integration