Urban Climate Bern

High-resolution assessment and analysis of the urban heat island of Bern

Project Summary

Since 2018, the Climatology Group maintains an extensive air temperature monitoring network within and around the city of Bern. Distributed over different urban structures and surfaces, vegetation types, as well as topographical and infrastuctural settings, the low-cost temperature loggers are being placed within a self-made radiation shield. The network consisting of 65 to 85 stations measures air temperatures every 10 minutes from May until September and, since 2021, has also been supported by the city administration (Stadtgrün and Tiefbauamt) and the energy service provider ewb.

The goals of this project are to (1) assess the urban temperature variability at very fine spatial and temporal scales in order to provide a basis for (2) the validation of geostatistical and numerical urban climate models, (3) the evaluation and inter-comparison of different low-cost measurement approaches for urban heat islands, (4) comparisons with “historical” urban climate data retrieved in the 1970s, and (5) analyses of the effects of urban heat stress on human health. Moreover, the data is being used for (6) the development and evaluation of educational material focusing on local impacts of climate change.



  • Burger, M., Gubler, M. and Brönnimann, S. (2022): Modeling the intra-urban nocturnal summertime air temperature fields at a daily basis in a city with complex topography. PLOS Clim 1(12): e0000089. doi: 10.1371/journal.pclm.0000089
  • Meyer, L., Gubler, M., Meier, F. & Brönnimann, S. (2021): Intercomparison and combination of low-cost urban air temperature measurement approaches. Meteorol. Z., doi: 10.1127/metz/2021/1107
  • Burger, M. & Gubler, M. (2020): Der Berner Stadthitze auf der Spur – Stadtforschung aus klimatologischer Perspektive. GeoAgenda, 3, 4-9.
  • Gubler, M., Christen, A., Remund, J. & Brönnimann, S. (2021) Evaluation and application of a low-cost measurement network to study intra-urban temperature differences during summer 2018 in Bern, Switzerland, Urban Climate, 37, 100817, doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100817
  • Burger, M., Gubler, M., Heinimann, A. & Brönnimann, S. (2021) Modelling the spatial pattern of heatwaves in the city of Bern using a land use regression approach, Urban Climate, 38, 100885, doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100885
  • Hürzeler, A., Hollósi, B., Burger, M., Gubler, M. and Brönnimann, S. (2022): Performance analysis of the urban climate model MUKLIMO_ 3 for three extreme heatwave events in Bern. City and environment interactions, 16 Elsevier 10. doi:1016/j.cacint.2022.100090


BSc, MSc and PhD Theses

Available Theses

Completed Theses

Theses in Progress

  • Master Thesis Saba Baer: "Cold Air Drainage in Bern – Analysing the Origin and Dynamics of Cold Airmasses in the Aare-Graben" (working title)
  • PhD-Arbeit Moritz Burger: "Analyzing the Past, the Present and the future Urban Heat of Bern from different Perspectives" (working title)
  • Master Thesis Doriana Sabbatini: "Public perceptions of and behavioral responses to urban heat stress in Bern" (working title)
  • Master Thesis Pascal Stäheli: “Assessing Vegetation impacts on the Urban Heat Island intensity of Bern using Remote Sensing and In-Situ Measurements” (working title)
  • Master Thesis Thierry Müller: "Assessment of the urban heat island from space looking at land surface temperatures in the city of Bern" (working title)
  • Bachelor Thesis Nils Tinner: "Diurnal cycle of land surface temperatures in Bern" (working title)
  • Master Thesis Daniela Friebel: «Wahrnehmung und Wirkung klimaangepasster Gestaltung öffentlicher Räume in der Stadt Bern. Analyse anhand von Mental Maps in zwei Quartieren der Stadt Bern.» (working title)


Heat Walk

More information on the heat walk through the city of Bern can be found on our German webpage.