What is a microclimate?

Trees for Energy Conservation October 08, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

A microclimate is created in a relatively small area where environmental conditions may be warmer or cooler than in the general surrounding area. For example, trees or buildings can affect a microclimate by providing shade, resulting in cooler temperatures and lower light environments than in adjacent areas without shade. Buildings or pavement can reflect heat energy, resulting in microclimates in cities that are warmer than the surrounding areas -- for example, in parking lots. Topography and slope can also cause microclimates, such a 'frost pockets' where cold air may settle.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.