515 research outputs found

    Mapping Europe into local climate zones

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    Cities are major drivers of environmental change at all scales and are especially at risk from the ensuing effects, which include poor air quality, flooding and heat waves. Typically, these issues are studied on a city-by-city basis owing to the spatial complexity of built landscapes, local topography and emission patterns. However, to ensure knowledge sharing and to integrate local-scale processes with regional and global scale modelling initiatives, there is a pressing need for a world-wide database on cities that is suited for environmental studies. In this paper we present a European database that has a particular focus on characterising urbanised landscapes. It has been derived using tools and techniques developed as part of the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT) project, which has the goal of acquiring and disseminating climate-relevant information on cities worldwide. The European map is the first major step toward creating a global database on cities that can be integrated with existing topographic and natural land-cover databases to support modelling initiatives

    Constructing diagrams to understand phenomena and mechanisms

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    Biologists often hypothesize mechanisms to explai phenomena. Our interest is how their understanding of the phenomena and mechanisms develops as they construct diagrams to communicate their claims. We present two case studies in which scientists integrate various data to create a single diagram to communicate their major conclusions in a research publication. In both cases, the history of revisions suggests that scientists' initial drafts encode biases and oversights that are only gradually overcome through prolonged, reflective re-design. To account for this, we suggest that scientists only develop a unitary understanding of their results through their attempts to communicate them

    Multi-level Feature Fusion-based CNN for Local Climate Zone Classification from Sentinel-2 Images: Benchmark Results on the So2Sat LCZ42 Dataset

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    As a unique classification scheme for urban forms and functions, the local climate zone (LCZ) system provides essential general information for any studies related to urban environments, especially on a large scale. Remote sensing data-based classification approaches are the key to large-scale mapping and monitoring of LCZs. The potential of deep learning-based approaches is not yet fully explored, even though advanced convolutional neural networks (CNNs) continue to push the frontiers for various computer vision tasks. One reason is that published studies are based on different datasets, usually at a regional scale, which makes it impossible to fairly and consistently compare the potential of different CNNs for real-world scenarios. This study is based on the big So2Sat LCZ42 benchmark dataset dedicated to LCZ classification. Using this dataset, we studied a range of CNNs of varying sizes. In addition, we proposed a CNN to classify LCZs from Sentinel-2 images, Sen2LCZ-Net. Using this base network, we propose fusing multi-level features using the extended Sen2LCZ-Net-MF. With this proposed simple network architecture and the highly competitive benchmark dataset, we obtain results that are better than those obtained by the state-of-the-art CNNs, while requiring less computation with fewer layers and parameters. Large-scale LCZ classification examples of completely unseen areas are presented, demonstrating the potential of our proposed Sen2LCZ-Net-MF as well as the So2Sat LCZ42 dataset. We also intensively investigated the influence of network depth and width and the effectiveness of the design choices made for Sen2LCZ-Net-MF. Our work will provide important baselines for future CNN-based algorithm developments for both LCZ classification and other urban land cover land use classification

    Consideration of Altered Anthropogenic Behavior during the First Lockdown and Its Effects on Air Pollutants and Land Surface Temperature in European Cities

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    Substantial reductions in human and economic activities such as road traffic for several months in 2020 were one of the consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic. This unprecedented change in urban metabolism also affected temperature and air pollutants. This study investigates the effects of the first COVID-19 lockdown across 43 cities in Europe. It determines the influence of anthropogenic activities on nitrogen dioxide (NO2_2), ozone (O3_3), and particulate matter (PM2.5_{2.5}), as well as on land surface temperature (LST) and the surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) using satellite, modeled, and mobility data. Our findings show that there are great temporal and spatial differences and distinct patterns between the cities regarding the magnitude of change in the variables under study. In general, the results indicate a substantial decrease in NO2_2 concentrations in most of the studied cities compared with the reference period of 2015‚Äď2019. However, reductions could not be attributed to mobility changes such as less traffic at transit stations, contrary to the results of previous studies. O3_3 levels increased during the first lockdown in accordance with the decreasing NO2_2 concentrations. The PM pattern was inconsistent over time and space. Similar to the NO2_2 results, no relation to the altered mobility behavior was found. No clear signal could be detected for LST and the SUHII, likely due to dominating meteorological influences

    Why do biologists use so many diagrams?

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    Diagrams have distinctive characteristics that make them an effective medium for communicating research findings, but they are even more impressive as tools for scientific reasoning. Focusing on circadian rhythm research in biology to explore these roles, we examine diagrammatic formats that have been devised (a) to identify and illuminate circadian phenomena and (b) to develop and modify mechanistic explanations of these phenomena

    Why do biologists use so many diagrams?

    Get PDF
    Diagrams have distinctive characteristics that make them an effective medium for communicating research findings, but they are even more impressive as tools for scientific reasoning. Focusing on circadian rhythm research in biology to explore these roles, we examine diagrammatic formats that have been devised (a) to identify and illuminate circadian phenomena and (b) to develop and modify mechanistic explanations of these phenomena

    Constructing diagrams to understand phenomena and mechanisms

    Get PDF
    Biologists often hypothesize mechanisms to explai phenomena. Our interest is how their understanding of the phenomena and mechanisms develops as they construct diagrams to communicate their claims. We present two case studies in which scientists integrate various data to create a single diagram to communicate their major conclusions in a research publication. In both cases, the history of revisions suggests that scientists' initial drafts encode biases and oversights that are only gradually overcome through prolonged, reflective re-design. To account for this, we suggest that scientists only develop a unitary understanding of their results through their attempts to communicate them
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