AMS Update on Amsterdam Atmospheric Monitoring Supersite

A sunny week in Amsterdam: new measurement equipment installed for Amsterdam Atmospheric Monitoring Supersite!

The weather in cities is crucial for the environmental quality, in particular for monitoring heat stress during warm episodes, and for air quality. However, the potential harvest of solar panels is also interesting to monitor for energy applications. On May 1st2018 the Meteorology and Air Quality Section installed an advanced weather station at the Carlton hotel in Amsterdam.

At an earlier stage, a network of 30 weather stations had been installed across Amsterdam, measuring temperature humidity and wind speed in order to monitor the urban heat island effect and heat stress. The figure below shows the night time minimum temperatures in Amsterdam as measured on  5% of the warmest days during the summer of 2014. The city center appears to remain 5-6 ºC warmer than natural areas around Schiphol airport! Even in residential areas located several kilometres away from the city center, such as the Bijlmer, the temperature was still about 4ºC higher than in the countryside. The measurements also indicate that large water bodies, such as the IJmeer for example, stay rather warm at night.

Copyright Bert Heusinkveld

The newly installed instruments on the Carlton Hotel measure the received solar and thermal radiation on the urban surface (see figure below). Moreover, the weather station records the transport of heat, evaporation, carbon dioxide and methane from the urban surface into the atmosphere. It assesses the understanding of the urban energy and water cycle, as well as the carbon footprint of Amsterdam.

Copyright Bert Heusinkveld

The first week of May 2018 was a very sunny episode which stopped on May 10th. These weather conditions were excellent to measure renewable energy production from solar panels.

Two instruments measure solar radiation: one sensor is looking upwards to the sky, the other is installed at an angle representative of a typical roof and acts as a proxy for solar energy production. The figure below shows that the upward looking sensor sees perfect curves for most of the week, with daytime peaks of 850 W/m2 of energy. The blue curve represents the roof sensor, which obviously receives even more radiation – i.e. more than 1000 W/m2 recorded at noon, than the sensor pointed upwards, since the radiation beams arrive more parallel to the instrument. As a reference, the maximum radiation that the sun can deliver to the Earth is shown on the red line. Surprisingly we were not that far away from it! From May 10th the weather conditions were less settled, with partly cloudy skies which resulted in a scattered behaviour of the radiation input.

Project duration 1 sept 2016- 1 sept 2021

Partners Wageningen University, Meteorology and Air Quality Section, Carlton hotel Amsterdam

Project leader Gert-Jan Steeneveld, Wageningen University, Meteorology and Air Quality Section,  Gert-Jan.Steeneveld[@]

Related information:
Healthy Urban Route Planner
Heat map on neighborhood level
A diagnostic equation for the daily maximum urban heat island effect for cities in northwestern Europe