New Views of Urban Heat Islands


AGU 2010 Fall Meeting – Press Conference

Weather watchers have long noted that city centers tend to be warmer than their surrounding environs. These “urban heat islands,” which are produced when pavement and other city infrastructure replaces open land and vegetation, can boost temperatures by a few degrees and in some cases by as much as 11° Celsius (20° Fahrenheit) or more. Recent findings, based on satellite data, offer new insight into how heat islands can vary across cities, threaten public health, and increase air conditioning usage in ways that might inadvertently exacerbate dangerous heat waves.

Ping Zhang,
Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Earth Resource Technology, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
Benedicte Dousset
Researcher, Hawai`i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, USA
Cécile De Munck
Scientist, National Centre of Meteorological Research (CNRM), Météo-France, France.


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