Week Six Impacts on Human Systems

Beginning with human health and the built environment….urban heat islands observed 200 years ago, the temperature difference between urban areas and undeveloped rural areas just outside city…2° difference, 1960s 4° difference. In extremely hot 2003 9° difference.

Urban Heat Islands_01 The heat wave in 2003 across UK and the rest of Europe caused an estimated 70,000 deaths from dehydration and hyperthermia (heat stroke) Many of these deaths were in tall buildings at night, if your body can’t cool down it will cook. Air con is one technological solution but as using it increases outside air temperature is it really a sustainable solution? (Can you afford it is another problem)

NASA link showed satellite images that compare visible light, surface heat, developed land and vegetation cover of different cities and their resulting heat island temps. Limiting plant transpiration, dark coloured infrastructures and industrial/transport heat all contribute. Cities in forested areas have stronger heat islands than those surrounded by grassland or desert. Densely compact more than sprawling. Diverse realities, diverse results. (Las Vegas cooler than surrounding areas)

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