What are Urban Heat Islands?
Climate Issue: Urban Heat Islands
An Urban Heat Island is the name given to describe the characteristic warmth of both the atmosphere and surfaces in cities (urban areas) compared to their (non-urbanized) surroundings. The heat island is an example of unintentional climate modification when urbanization changes the characteristics of the Earth's surface and atmosphere.
I got this definition from: http://www.actionbioscience.org/enviroment/voogt.html
Picture Showing Urban Heat Island Effect
|This picture came from: http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content06/heat-island.jpg|
Thermal Satellite Picture
|We got these pictures from: http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd21jul98_1.htm||These thermal pictures show Salt Lake City (left) compared to a more rural area (right) The red areas are hot and the blue areas are cooler.|
How This Hurts People
Higher daytime temperatures & slower nighttime cooling
Can affect human health by making people miserable, causing respiratory difficulties, heat cramps and exhaustion, non-fatal heat stroke, and heat-related deaths.
Heat islands can make heat waves last longer
Children, older adults and those with existing health problems suffer most.
Storm water runoff
increases water pollution, and possible property damage and loss of life due to flooding