Modeling effects of urban heat island mitigation strategies on heat-related morbidity: A case study for Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Humberto R. Silva, Patrick Phelan, Jay S. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

A zero-dimensional energy balance model was previously developed to serve as a user-friendly mitigation tool for practitioners seeking to study the urban heat island (UHI) effect. Accordingly, this established model is applied here to show the relative effects of four common mitigation strategies: increasing the overall (1) emissivity, (2) percentage of vegetated area, (3) thermal conductivity, and (4) albedo of the urban environment in a series of percentage increases by 5, 10, 15, and 20% from baseline values. In addition to modeling mitigation strategies, we present how the model can be utilized to evaluate human health vulnerability from excessive heat-related events, based on heat-related emergency service data from 2002 to 2006. The 24-h average heat index is shown to have the greatest correlation to heat-related emergency calls in the Phoenix (Arizona, USA) metropolitan region. The four modeled UHI mitigation strategies, taken in combination, would lead to a 48% reduction in annual heat-related emergency service calls, where increasing the albedo is the single most effective UHI mitigation strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of biometeorology
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Emergency medical dispatch
  • Health vulnerability
  • Heat wave
  • Morbidity
  • Numerical modeling
  • Urban heat island

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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