This is a part of the 2015 Fall VPS. For more VPS articles, click here
Category: Assessing Human Risk
Project Team: New Jersey Health & Air Quality
Team Location: International Research Institute for Climate and Society ÛÒ Palisades, New York
Pietro Ceccato (Columbia University)
Urbanization has created an increase in what is known as the urban heat island (UHI) effect. The excess heat in these urban environments has led to a rise in heat-related illnesses and mortality. There is little understanding of urban microclimate. To better understand the impact of different land surfaces in an urban system, a quantitative study was completed, analyzing on-site locations representing varied microclimates and analyzing satellite imagery of Glassboro Township in New Jersey. A correlation was developed to be able to obtain the surface temperature and near surface air temperature of a microclimate based on the environmental factors. The on-site study revealed that varied environments (grass, water, and concrete) result in different temperature profiles within the range of 0 to 3 meters. Results indicate that grass was the coolest environment, water was the most temperate, and concrete had the highest peak temperatures. The satellite study revealed that increased levels of urbanization, with no methods of heat mitigation, resulted in higher average temperatures. Both the on-site and satellite data confirmed that the increased urbanization lead to increased temperatures within microclimates.