The East Coast is sweltering, and it’s kind of hot here, too. Cities especially are feeling the heat as temperatures seem to break records on a daily basis.
So what’s to blame? Brian Stone, a professor of environmental planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, writes for CNN that the causes of urban heat waves are both global and local. The global greenhouse effect is raising temperatures worldwide, but cities are feeling it more due to their lack of trees and grass.
Taking the place of natural landscape are buildings, streets and parking lots, which absorb more thermal radiation. That means urban areas are heating up twice as fast as rural, Stone writes.
Solutions: Plant more trees, use white or lightly hued roofing and paving materials, and improve city transit and walkability.
Read his entire article here.