Urban Heat Islands (UHI) are urban and suburban areas with elevated surface and air temperatures relative to surrounding rural areas. This study combines variables from the remote sensing and urban climatology publications to explain UHI intensity in eight Chicago neighborhoods. During the summer of 2010, we collected air temperature measurements within an urban block in each neighborhood. Consistent with remote sensing research that measures surface temperature, the predictors of elevated nighttime air temperatures were land cover variables. At 2. a.m., the urban block's percentages of impervious surface and tree canopy explained 68% of the variation in air temperature. At 2. a.m., the other physical measures of urban canyon and street orientation were not significant. At 2. a.m. during extreme heat events, the urban block's percentages of impervious surface and tree canopy explained 91% of the variation in air temperature. At 4. p.m., the only significant explanatory variable was distance to industrial sites and this explained 26% of the variation in air temperature. At 4. p.m. during extreme heat events, there were no significant predictors. We believe this research illustrates the importance of differentiating time of day for residential and non-residential areas in UHI mitigation efforts and the need to include waste heat in future UHI investigations.
- Urban Heat Island
- Urban planning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law