Sea breeze cooling capacity and its influencing factors in a coastal city

Yifei Zhou, Huade Guan, Chenyan Huang, Lingli Fan, Saeedeh Gharib, Okke Batelaan, Craig Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The sea breeze is a common phenomenon in coastal cities, but its cooling effect has not been well investigated. In this research, we firstly propose a metric of sea breeze cooling capacity (SBCC) to quantify the cooling effect of sea breezes in a coastal city, Adelaide, Australia. Based on data from the Adelaide urban heat island monitoring network in 2010–2013, we reveal the temporal and spatial patterns of SBCC in summer days in the Adelaide Central Business District (CBD) and examine their associations with environmental variables. The results show that the inter-event variability of SBCC is explained by specific humidity and wind speed, while the spatial variability of SBCC is explained by distance towards the coast, frontal area index (FAI), terrain ruggedness index (TRI) and temperature prior to the sea breeze onset. Specifically, SBCC is negatively correlated with FAI and positively correlated with TRI. Future development of high-rise buildings in the Adelaide CBD can lead to changes in both FAI and TRI. It is estimated that the projected building development in Adelaide may cause a change of SBCC ranging from −195 to 143 °C h over an average summer. This research has important implications for urban planning, public health and energy consumption in coastal cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106408
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Sea breeze
  • Urban heat island
  • Urban ventilation


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