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Explainer: Why cities are warmer than rural areas and what can we do about it

A look at why cities are usually warmer than rural areas, and what can city dwellers do about it…

May 26, 2023 / 03:32 PM IST
An urban heat island occurs when a city witnesses much higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas. (Image: News18 Creative)
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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)
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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)
Urban structures absorb more heat. There is less surface moisture as water can’t percolate into the soil through impermeable surfaces. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Urban structures absorb more heat. There is less surface moisture as water can’t percolate into the soil through impermeable surfaces. (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)
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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)
Besides the incoming solar 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 temperatures. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Besides the incoming solar 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 temperatures. (Image: News18 Creative)
Consistent exposure to higher temperatures can cause people to become dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion. (Image: News18 Creative)
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Consistent exposure to higher temperatures can cause people to become dehydrated or suffer from heat exhaustion. (Image: News18 Creative)
To reduce heat stress, try to use white roofs and light-coloured concrete during the construction of your house. Consider painting your building in white or other light colours. White objects reflect all wavelengths of light and their temperature does not increase noticeably. (Image: News18 Creative)
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To reduce heat stress, try to use white roofs and light-coloured concrete during the construction of your house. Consider painting your building in white or other light colours. White objects reflect all wavelengths of light and their temperature does not increase noticeably. (Image: News18 Creative)
When the sun sets, open the windows and doors to let out warm air accumulated through the day. It can help with high indoor temperatures. (Image: News18 Creative)
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When the sun sets, open the windows and doors to let out warm air accumulated through the day. It can help with high indoor temperatures. (Image: News18 Creative)
Moneycontrol News
first published: May 26, 2023 03:32 pm