The weather in urban areas is different from the weather in the countryside. The urban heat island effect is the best-known urban weather phenomenon. On warm sunny days, it can be approximately six degrees warmer in the centre of Amsterdam than it is in surrounding areas. But cities also have their own wind climate, water balance and carbon budget. These have a major effect on the air quality, comfort level, urban water management, energy use and sustainability of a city. Together, they create the environmental quality, liveability and economic potential of neighbourhoods and districts.
In order to chart these aspects of the weather in Amsterdam over a long period, the Amsterdam Atmospheric Monitoring Supersite will soon be installed by employees of the Meteorology and Air Quality Group at Wageningen University. The monitoring network consists of 30 weather stations that will record temperature, humidity and wind in the city over the course of four years. This will make it possible to identify cooler neighbourhoods and indicate the layout of those neighbourhoods as best practice. The monitoring network also includes a scintillometer, which can record the heat exchange and evaporation in the city as a whole. Evaporation is an important concept in the urban water balance, and therefore also for urban water management and groundwater levels.
Amsterdam’s sustainability goal is to be carbon neutral. Carbon flux measurements will be carried out in order to establish Amsterdam’s carbon budget. Sustainable energy generation through solar panels will help the city achieve its carbon goals. In order to investigate the optimum arrangement of solar panels, a special roof will be set up with meteorological instruments as a test location.
In addition to the measurements, a numerical weather forecast model will be utilised in the summer to make a daily weather forecast at the level of individual neighbourhoods, and to validate the forecasts on the basis of data observed by the network. The forecasts will be posted daily. In this way the Amsterdam Atmospheric Monitoring Supersite will be able to contribute to the development of weather forecasts to benefit residents and businesses of Amsterdam.
The Supersite will be active for four years, during which it will help Amsterdam in being a vital and healthy city. The observations will be stored in the Data Platform of AMS Institute, where they will also be made available to potential users.
This project is part of Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Insitute)’s research programme and financed by NWO and AMS Insitute.