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Urban Heat Islands: A look at why cities are usually warmer than rural areas

The sun’s heat and light reach urban and rural areas in the same way but the difference in temperature is mainly because of the surfaces in each environment and how they absorb and hold heat

May 17, 2022 / 10:36 AM IST
The official Twitter handle of the NASA JPL (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) recently shared an image highlighting the massive temperature difference between Delhi and nearby areas – a phenomenon called urban heat island (UHI) effect. It’s particularly pertinent in the wake of the ongoing heatwave that led to Delhi recording a punishing 49 Celsius degree on May 15, its hottest day of summer so far. A look at why cities are usually warmer than rural areas and what can city dwellers do about it… (Image: News18 Creative)
The official Twitter handle of the NASA JPL (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) recently shared an image highlighting the massive temperature difference between Delhi and nearby areas—a phenomenon called urban heat island (UHI) effect. It’s pertinent in the wake of the ongoing heatwave that saw Delhi record a punishing 49 Celsius degree on May 15, its hottest day of summer so far. A look at why cities are usually warmer than rural areas and what can city dwellers do about it (Image: News18 Creative)
This data suggests that city dwellers are experiencing considerably higher temperatures than the average temperatures reported for their regions. (Image: News18 Creative)
This data suggests that city dwellers are experiencing considerably higher temperatures than the average temperatures reported for their regions. (Image: News18 Creative)
An Urban Heat Island occurs when a city witnesses much higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas. (Image: News18 Creative)
An Urban Heat Island occurs when a city witnesses much higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas. (Image: News18 Creative)
The sun’s heat and light reach urban and rural areas in the same way. The difference in temperature is mainly because of the surfaces in each environment and how well they absorb and hold heat. (Image: News18 Creative)
The sun’s heat and light reach urban and rural areas in the same way. The difference in temperature is mainly because of the surfaces in each environment and how well they absorb and hold heat. (Image: News18 Creative)
A look at why this happens. (Image: News18 Creative)
A look at why this happens. (Image: News18 Creative)
Urban building materials are an important reason that urban areas trap heat. Most of the modern buildings are made up of materials such as cement, asphalt, brick, glass, steel etc., which have impervious surfaces. (Image: News18 Creative)
Urban building materials are an important reason that these areas trap heat. Most modern buildings are made up of materials such as cement, asphalt, brick, glass, steel, etc, which have impervious surfaces. (Image: News18 Creative)
Besides the incoming radiation, heat released by many human activities also contributes to the urban heat effect. Motor vehicles, factories, even household appliances, release heat into the environment and cause a spike in local temperature. (Image: News18 Creative)
Besides the incoming radiation, the heat released by many human activities also contributes to the urban heat effect. Motor vehicles, factories and even household appliances release heat into the environment and cause a spike in local temperature. (Image: News18 Creative)
Consistent exposure to higher temperatures can cause people to become dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion. (Image: News18 Creative)
Consistent exposure to higher temperatures can cause people to become dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion. (Image: News18 Creative)
If you live in an area that’s prone to UHI effect, these tips will help you reduce heat stress. (Image: News18 Creative)
If you live in an area that’s prone to UHI effect, these tips will help you reduce heat stress. (Image: News18 Creative)
Stay hydrated and learn to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion. (Image: News18 Creative)
Stay hydrated and learn to recognise the symptoms of heat exhaustion. (Image: News18 Creative)
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first published: May 17, 2022 10:36 am
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