Coastal Los Angeles losing fog to urban sprawl | Science News

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Coastal Los Angeles losing fog to urban sprawl

Warmer nights lift cloud level

8:00am, February 27, 2015
LA Fog

FLEETING FOG  Fog in coastal Los Angeles has become much less frequent due to nighttime warming caused by urbanization, new research suggests.

Morning fog along parts of coastal Southern California is disappearing due to nearby urbanization, new research suggests.

Since 1948, fog frequency has plummeted 63 percent in the Los Angeles area, bioclimatologist A. Park Williams of Columbia University and colleagues report in a paper to be published in Geophysical Research Letters. Portions of San Diego also saw decreases. Fog around Santa Barbara and offshore islands remained relatively unchanged.

Williams and colleagues collected weather observations from 24 airfields along the Southern California coast. Using 1950 census data and modern-day maps, the researchers discovered that at airfields where fog frequency fell, significant amounts of urbanization had taken place within a 10-kilometer radius. Building materials such as concrete absorb heat during the day and radiate the stored energy overnight, raising nighttime temperatures

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