Tuesday, April 16, 2024
U.S. cities with intense 'heat island effect': 1. New York: Among top cities experiencing heat island.
2. Los Angeles: Leading city facing extreme heat effect.
3. Phoenix: Struggles with significant urban heat island.
4. Dallas: Hit hard by urban heat island effect.
5. Houston: Known for severe heat island conditions.
6. Chicago: Faces notable urban heat island challenges.
7. Miami: Battling intense heat island phenomenon.
8. Las Vegas: Struggling with extreme heat island effect.
9. Atlanta: Exhibits prominent urban heat island impact.

U.S. cities with intense ‘heat island effect’: 1. New York: Among top cities experiencing heat island. 2. Los Angeles: Leading city facing extreme heat effect. 3. Phoenix: Struggles with significant urban heat island. 4. Dallas: Hit hard by urban heat island effect. 5. Houston: Known for severe heat island conditions. 6. Chicago: Faces notable urban heat island challenges. 7. Miami: Battling intense heat island phenomenon. 8. Las Vegas: Struggling with extreme heat island effect. 9. Atlanta: Exhibits prominent urban heat island impact.


All U.S. cities experience some level of “heat island effect,” in which heat reflects off hard surfaces, intensifying the impact of the hottest days. But as climate change intensifies, nine U.S. cities are special islands unto themselves, according to an analysis released Wednesday that coincides with a heat wave enveloping much of the nation.

The nine — New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, San Antonio, San Diego, Phoenix and Detroit — each have more than 1 million residents enduring temperature increases of 8 degrees or more, because of the heat island effect. That’s according to Climate Central, a nonprofit science and news organization, which has sought to create a broad snapshot of the largest urban populations at risk.

“Anyone who steps out on a sunny sidewalk can feel the difference from when they are in their yard,” Jen Brady, Climate Central senior data analyst, said in an interview. “Obviously, in the city there’s fewer trees, fewer yards and more sunny sidewalks. Those places are going to be warmer. What we’ve tried to do with this analysis is quantify it.”

Forty-one million residents among all nine cities experience the temperature boost, some up to 10 degrees or more, exposing them to higher risks of heat-related illness and more expensive cooling costs, the study found. Climate Central’s analysis did not include demographic data, Brady said, but other organizations such as the D.C. Policy Center have conducted research showing that lower-income communities face disproportionate impact from the heat island effect, partly because their neighborhoods often lack trees.

Brady and her team used census tract-level data from 44 U.S. cities to answer a question they often hear.

“A lot of people have said to us, ‘Is it really getting hotter or is it the urban island effect?’” Brady told The Washington Post. “We really wanted to clarify that the heat island effect is additional heat in the environment, but that climate change is increasing the baseline heat in the world.”

The Climate Central analysis comes as scientists say the world

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