Can the crowdsourcing data paradigm take atmospheric science to a new level? A case study of the Urban Heat Island of London quantified using Netatmo weather stations

Lee Chapman, Cassandra Bell, Simon Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
380 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Crowdsourcing techniques are frequently used across science to supplement traditional means of data collection. Although, atmospheric science has so far been slow to harness the technology, developments have now reached the point where the benefits of the approaches simply cannot be ignored: crowdsourcing has potentially far-reaching consequences for the way in which measurements are collected and used in the discipline. To illustrate this point, this paper uses air temperature data from the prolific, low-cost, Netatmo weather station to quantify the urban heat island of London over the summer of 2015. The results are broadly comparable with previous studies, and indeed standard observations (albeit with a warm bias, a likely consequence of non-standard site exposure), showing a range of magnitudes of between 1 and 6°C across the city depending on atmospheric stability. However, not all the results can be easily explained by physical processes and therefore highlight quality issues with crowdsourced data that need to be resolved. This paper aims to kickstart a step-change in the use of crowdsourcing in urban meteorology by encouraging atmospheric scientists to more positively engage with the new generation of manufacturers producing mass market sensors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Early online date2 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2016

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