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WIREs Clim Change
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Using big data analytics to synthesize research domains and identify emerging fields in urban climatology

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Abstract The growing concerns over urbanization and climate change have resulted in an exponential growth in publications on urban climatology in recent decades. However, an advanced synthesis that characterizes the existing studies is lacking. In this review, we used citation network analysis and a text mining approach to identify research trends and extract common research topics and the emerging domains in urban climatology. Based on the clustered networks, we found that aerosols and ozone, and urban heat island are the most popular topics. Together with other clusters, four emerging topical fields were identified: secondary organic aerosols, urban precipitation, flood risk and adaptation, and greenhouse gas emissions. The city case studies' geographical information was analyzed to explore the spatial–temporal patterns, especially in the emerging topical fields. Interdisciplinary research grew in recent years as the field of urban climatology expanded to interact with urban hydrology, health, energy issues, and social sciences. A few knowledge gaps were proposed: the lack of long‐term high‐temporal‐resolution observational data of organic aerosols for model validation and improvements, the need for predictions of urban effects on precipitation and extreme flooding events under climate change, and the lack of a framework for cooperation between physical sciences and social sciences under urban settings. To fill these gaps, we call for more observational data with high spatial and temporal resolution, using high‐resolution models that adequately represent urban processes to conduct scenario analyses for urban planning, and the development of intellectual frameworks for better integration of urban climatology and social‐economical systems in cities. This article is categorized under: Climate, History, Society, Culture > Disciplinary Perspectives
Workflow chart of the methodology. The review proceeded in three phases which involved data collection, information retrieval and extraction, and knowledge synthesis. S‐T in the third phase denotes spatial–temporal
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Frequency of terms by the time. Only the top 10 key terms with high frequency of occurrence are shown
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Number of case studies in the four emerging domains by cities and topics. The color scale is normalized by each city. The cities are presented in order of longitude for simple comparison of their geo‐locations
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Global coverage of city‐based case studies. The bar charts summarize the number of case studies and their associated clusters in each continent
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Overview of research domains in urban climatology
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Number of publications in each cluster and the annual growth trends in the number of publications for the top 8 clusters: Aerosols and Ozone (red), Urban Heat Island (orange), Temperature Trend (green), Thermal Comfort (blue), Dispersion modeling (purple), Flood Risk and Adaptation (brown), Greenhouse Gas Emissions (gray), and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Fungal Spores (pink)
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Number of publications and the top 10 most productive countries in urban climatology between 1950 and 2018. The dotted line shows the total number of publications per year with the exact number on the left. The tree map demonstrates the top 10 most productive countries in the research of urban climatology
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