Hot In The City: Urban Heat Island

4:15 PM, Jun 28, 2012   |    comments
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There have many studies done by NOAA on what impacts the Urban Heat Island really has, but after comparing that data to increasing urban populations, many scientists are taking a second look at what might be causing those warming temperatures.

If you can't take the heat, get out of the city is basically what it boils down to.  As the phrase implies, an Urban Heat Island is when a city turns into an island of heat, and unlike rural areas, it retains that heat well into the night, even after the sun has gone down.

As global temperatures go up, global warming is often to blame, but could the fact that more people are moving into urban areas be a factor? 

The big difference now is the population change. Back in 1910 the U.S. urban population was 45.6% but in 2010 that number increased all the way to 80.7%
Compare that to Georgia where back in 1910 the urban population was 20.6% but that number skyrocketed to 52.9% in 2010.

Our average temperature in May of 2012 in Atlanta was 73.9°, whereas our average May temperature in 1912 in Atlanta was 69°(this is an average as the final number on file is writtern as "67°-71°"), an increase of about 7%.

The biggest concern with this is the number of heat-related deaths. According to NOAA, heat is the number one weather related killer , last year was an exception when tornado deaths finally surpassed heat deaths.

So as temperatures near all time record highs this weekend, please be safe out there!

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