It can be windier in a city than in the surrounding countryside, discovered PhD candidate Arjan Droste. He calls this surprising phenomenon the wind island effect.
The name is a nod to the already known heat island effect, through which a city is often hotter than the countryside. But does something similar happen for wind? That is completely contrary to intuition, admits Droste, who works in the Meteorology and Air Quality chair group. ‘That can’t be right, was my first thought when I saw the results of my model calculations. The average wind speed was higher in the city than in the countryside. Whereas the wind can blow where it wants in the country, with no buildings in its way.’ But it turned out to be right. And so what initially looked like an error provided material for an interesting paper in the latest edition of Environmental Research Letters.
Read the full story on Resource.wur.nl, the news website for students and employees of Wageningen University & Research.