Assessing spatial pattern of urban thermal environment in Shanghai, China

Wenze Yue, Yong Liu, Peilei Fan, Xinyue Ye, Cifang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The aggravating urban thermal environment has considerable adverse effects on urban physical environment, energy consumption, and public health. Due to the complexity of factors contributing to the urban thermal environment, traditional statistical methods are insufficient for acquiring data and analyzing the impacts of human activities on the thermal environment, especially for identifying dominant factors. Based on thermal remote sensing imageries and Geographic Information System analysis, we assessed spatial pattern of urban thermal environment in Shanghai in 2008, and analyzed the factors contributing to the generation of urban heat island (UHI) using principal component analysis (PCA). We found that Shanghai had obvious UHI with uneven spatial pattern in 2008. Further, we identified three most important components leading to the variances of Shanghai's UHI: the gradient from man-made to natural land cover, landscape configuration, and anthropogenic heat release. A linear model has thus been successfully constructed, implying that PCA is helpful in identifying major contributors to UHI. The findings are of significance for policy implication to urban thermal environment mitigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-911
Number of pages13
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science


  • Human activities
  • Principal components analysis
  • Shanghai
  • Urban heat island


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