Urban Heat island


Heat island refers to urban air and surface temperatures that are higher than nearby rural areas.
Heat island occurs on : –
  • The surface and 
  • The atmosphere.
As urban areas develop, changes occur in their : –
  • Shape and
  • Landscape all the buildings, roads etc.
  • Replaces the open fields
  • Agricultural land and
  • All the vegetation.
These changes occur causes urban areas to become warmer than usual compared to their rural areas and nearby environment forming an island of higher temperature.
  1. Many cities have temperature ( 1 to 6 degree Celsius ) warmer than their nearby surroundings.
  2. Rising temperatures can impact communities in a number of ways.
  3. Heat island also affects urban noise propagation.
  4. Heat island occur year -round during the day or night.
  5. The urban areas temperatures are often observed during clean and clear evenings.

Elevated temperatures can impact communities by increasing : –

  1. Peak energy
  2. Demand 
  3. Air conditioning cost
  4. Air pollution levels and
  5. Heat related illness .


Heat island can amplify extreme hot weather conditions which cause heat stroke and lead to : 

  • Physiological disruption
  • Organ damage and
  • Severe conditions especially for the elders and children.
Higher temperature also accelerates the chemical reaction that produces the ground level ozone or smog in some cases.
Some heat islands impacts seem positive : –
  1. such as lengthening the plant growing season.

The negative impacts are : –

  • Increased energy consumption : Higher temperature during summer season demand for cooling which generates pressure to the electricity.
  • Elevated emissions of air pollutants and GHG’s : Emission of such gases occurs due to increasing energy demand.
  • Compromised human health and effort
  • Poor water quality
  • Heat island affects climate change
Cities are warmer than rural areas due to more energy consumption.

The causes of heat islands are : –
  1. Cities have less water.
  2. Waste heat from cars, buildings are also contributing for warmer temperatures.
  3. The thermal properties of buildings add heat to the air by conduction.
  4. The sunlight absorption is more in cities and less in rural areas .
  5. The urban heat islands effects can also be reduced by weather phenomena.
  6. The urban heat islands may also increase the cloudiness and precipitation in the city.
  7. This is because there are more energy gains because of buildings , roads , vehicles etc.
  8. In rural areas, trees are present in much high quantity.
Urban Heat island


 Heat island mitigation is a part of a communities : –
  • Energy 
  • Air quality
  • Water and
  • Sustainability effort.
Activities to reduce warmness differs from each other.
Most mitigation activities have multiple benefits including : –
  • Cleaner air
  • Improved human health and
  • Effort
  • Reduced energy costs and
  • Low GHG’s emissions .
The strategies of reduction of heat islands are : –
  • Switching to cooler materials which generates less heat.
  • Planting trees and vegetation
  • Increase trees and vegetation cover
  • Creating green roofs
  • Creating proper water management
  • Reducing human activities


Heat island is somehow bad for the environment and also good like plantation time.

We humans have to control our activities in order to get a clean and safe environment.

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