Observed Changes in Long-Term Climatic Conditions and Inner-Regional Differences in Urban Regions of the Baltic Sea Coast


This paper presents research outcomes from an investigation into climate change and urban impacts on climate development in urban regions of the Baltic Sea coast. The cities considered were Rostock and Stockholm, and their surrounding regions. The objectives were: 1) to determine whether significant changes in temperature and precipitation have occurred and, if so, to what extent; and 2) to establish whether there is a noticeable urban heat island effect in Stockholm and the medium-sized city of Rostock. Climatic trends were detected by linear regression and the Mann- Kendall test. Different precipitation trends were detected over the whole period of observation. Average annual temperatures increased significantly in both case studies, particularly from the 1970s with highest trends in winter and lowest in autumn (Rostock) and summer (Stockholm). Although changes in temperature extremes were detected for both regions, no overall long-term trend for precipitation extremes was observed. The average temperature in the city of Rostock (Stockholm) was approximately 0.3°C to 0.6°C (1.2°C) higher than in the surrounding rural areas had seasonal variations, with maxima in the warm season. The main outcomes were that significant changes in climatic conditions, particularly temperature patterns, have been occurring in the case study regions since the 1980s, and that there is a considerable urban heat island effect in both Stockholm and Rostock. This could encourage urban planners to consider specific climatic conditions and small-scale climatic influences also in relatively small coastal urban conglomerates in mid latitudes which can follow from land use changes.

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M. Richter, S. Deppisch and H. Storch, "Observed Changes in Long-Term Climatic Conditions and Inner-Regional Differences in Urban Regions of the Baltic Sea Coast," Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 165-176. doi: 10.4236/acs.2013.32018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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