while the countryside sweats during a heat wave, cooling itself through evaporation, the city just bakes

Cities can be anywhere from 2 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than nearby countryside, due to what’s known as the “urban heat island” effect

Baltimore case study:

Researchers compared temperatures downtown to those near the Baltimore/Washington International Airport—a residential, half-forested area.

Using modeling software, they found that temperatures downtown weren’t simply a sum of the urban heat island and the heat wave—they were three and a half degrees hotter than that

Urban areas are carpeted in asphalt and concrete, which don’t hold water like soil and vegetation do. So while the countryside sweats during a heat wave, cooling itself through evaporation, the city just bakes. But researchers say there’s a simple solution to beat the heat: install green roofs, and plant some trees

Source:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=heat-waves-make-cities-swelter-syne-13-08-04

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