Articles | Volume 8, issue 2
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 415–423, 2016
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 8, 415–423, 2016

Review article 19 Sep 2016

Review article | 19 Sep 2016

In situ air temperature and humidity measurements over diverse land covers in Greenbelt, Maryland, November 2013–November 2015

Mark L. Carroll1,2, Molly E. Brown3, Margaret R. Wooten1,2, Joel E. Donham4, Alfred B. Hubbard1,2, and William B. Ridenhour5 Mark L. Carroll et al.
  • 1Science Systems and Applications Inc, Lanham, MD, USA
  • 2NASA-GSFC Biospheric Sciences Lab, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 3Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 4NASA-GSFC Medical and Environmental Management Division, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 5NASA-GSFC Engineering and Construction Branch, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Abstract. As our climate changes through time there is an ever-increasing need to quantify how and where it is changing so that mitigation strategies can be implemented. Urban areas have a disproportionate amount of warming due, in part, to the conductive properties of concrete and asphalt surfaces, surface albedo, heat capacity, lack of water, etc. that make up an urban environment. The NASA Climate Adaptation Science Investigation working group at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, conducted a study to collect temperature and humidity data at 15 min intervals from 12 sites at the center. These sites represent the major surface types at the center: asphalt, building roof, grass field, forest, and rain garden. The data show a strong distinction in the thermal properties of these surfaces at the center and the difference between the average values for the center compared to a local meteorological station. The data have been submitted to Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL-DAAC) for archival in comma separated value (csv) file format (Carroll et al., 2016) and can be found by following this link:

Short summary
As climate changes around the world it becomes increasingly important to understand how the built environment handles heating and cooling even on a localized basis. This study employed a dozen sensors placed on seven different types of surfaces (natural and built) to develop an understanding of how these surfaces affect temperatures in a campus setting. The data were collected at 15 min intervals over 2 years and are freely available through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.