Half of my childhood I grew up in a small village about 60 km north of Vienna. Most of my bigger family lived in or close to Vienna and my father delivered his produce once a week to his biggest customer. I had many opportunities to come with him. I learned one thing pretty quick. When there was snow where we lived, this did not mean that it would be snowy in Vienna. The darker city with all its tarmac and darker buildings was a heat island and when we went on the small mountains on the fringes of the city, this effect could be seen pretty nicely. An otherwise white flatland to the east with Vienna snowless or significantly less white – even in open spaces. This was more than 40 years ago and at the time we were told that we would freeze to death but the effect of the urban heat island did not need explanation – it was common sense. Not today it seems.
A new study by Nicola Scafetta shows that a considerable percentage of China’s global warming from 1940 to today is due to the phenomenon of urbanization. However, the models mistakenly associated this same warming to anthropogenic forcing: