Peculiar as it sounds, a recent study published in Earth’s Journal- an online peer-reviewed science publication – found a relation between cities’ shape and annual rainfall levels.
The study looked at how different shapes of cities impacted wind-flow patterns and, in turn, the likelihood of rainfall in those cities by comparing cities’ shapes to their recorded rainfall levels of previous years to find whether a correlation existed. Then they compared the data of in-land cities to those of coastal cities.
The researchers also looked at records of each city’s weather research and forecasting models and eddy simulations of air currents to examine how each city’s shapes affected its wind patterns.
Dallas, London, New York, and Los Angeles were among the many cities cased during this study, and the results were astonishing, to say the least.
The study found that cities that were circular in shape were more likely to receive rainfall compared to square-shaped cities (which had the second-highest likelihood of rainfall) and triangular cities (which had the lowest likelihood of rainfall). The evidence was also grounded in the fact that the rainiest cities of the world, i.e., London, tended to be circular in shape.
The exact data showed that circular cities received 78.6% greater rainfall than those which were triangular in shape.
When the results of in-land cities were compared to coastal cities, it was found that the shape of cities has a greater influence on the resultant rainfall along coastal cities compared to inland cities.
Even though this study has various limitations that are yet to be overcome by future research, it does introduce the world to what could be a new way of tackling natural disasters like urban flooding, dry spells, and extreme rainfall- Issues that are only exacerbated by climate change.
The study also provides a new perspective to city planning bodies- who might be able to use these findings to adjust cities’ shapes for optimal weather conditions.
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