Researching the Urban Heat Island Effect in the City of Boulder.
May 2022 - October 2022
What is the Urban Heat Island Effect?
The urban heat island effect describes higher temperatures in dense urban areas in comparison to rural or suburban areas. Urban areas have higher amounts of impervious surfaces (think concrete and asphalt) which absorb and store more heat and retain less moisture, resulting in higher surface and air temperatures.
Why are we studying urban heat?
Changes to the local urban climate mean more energy needed to cool buildings, decreased quality of life, and even consequences for the surrounding landscape. While the city of Boulder has more trees than most (The City of Boulder succeeds in making trees accessible, regardless of whether you own or rent) , efforts to understand patterns of heat in relation to vegetation can help us understand how the urban microclimate functions. To address increased heat in urban areas, a team of researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, NASA, and the City of Boulder are monitoring air temperature around Boulder, Colorado. We are interested in how urban trees and vegetation can reduce urban heat. The data we gather from this study will be used for climate mitigation planning.
Interested in learning more about urban heat and ways to mitigate it? See our resources page for additional reading.
How are we monitoring temperature?
The University of Colorado Boulder is working with the City of Boulder and NASA to monitor urban heat using a network of 75 temperature sensors distributed across the city. Sensors will be installed from May through October of 2022. It is important for us to collect continuous data to capture extreme heat events throughout the summer. Please do not tamper with the sensor. If you think something may be amiss, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in learning more or joining this effort? Please contact the team if you have further questions or are interested in helping to monitor temperature on your property!