Urban Heat Island for Beginners: Part 2 *

Urban Heat Islands or Why Is It So Damn Hot in Cities ?

AESOP Young Academics

The Two Dimension of the UHI

UHI is mainly dependent on the modification of the urban energy fluxes and, as a consequence, on the synoptic conditions in urban and rural sites. UHIs are characterized by two dimensions: an extension and a vertical profile. Typically, the UHI is plotted with closed isotherms indicating the area of the urban surface characterized by high temperatures (Oke, 2006).

airtemp_measurements-big

Figure 1 Urban heat island isotherms. Credit: United States Environmental Protection Agency

The cross-section – that is also the icon through which the UHI is represented – typically possesses ‘cliffs’ at the urban-rural fringe and a ‘peak’ in correspondence of the most built-up core of the cities (Pon, 2007).

Urban_heat_island_Celsius-640x356Figure 2 Urban heat island cross section. Credit: Geography

The UHI Extension

As demonstrated in many studies, the UHI dimension depends on the city-core extension, the most densely urbanized areas of the city (e.g., Unger, Sümeghy, Gulyás…

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