Heat Islands are becoming more prevalent as cities continue to grow. Typically in urban areas, heat islands are sections within the geography that produce a higher surface temperature than those associated with surrounding rural areas and radiate heat from the center point with the highest temperature. Factors that contribute to the development of these islands include street canyons (a street with buildings on either side that create a valley or canyon between the structures), thermal effects of heat storage and release from the ground and synthetic materials of man-made structures, and waste heat from buildings and residential areas. In this study, to detect the presence of heat islands in Dallas, Texas, satellite images of tree coverage are compared to a map of average heat spectrum of the city. Lack of trees correlate to higher temperatures and suggest that heat islands are a direct result from tree loss. Older neighborhoods with mature trees support this claim, with an average of 5 degrees Fahrenheit lower than newer neighborhoods with younger trees and less shade coverage. Areas such as parking lots and warehouse districts were the hottest, ranging 2-8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than rural areas in the same region. The findings of this study support an initiative to restore tree coverage to decrease CO2 emissions within Dallas and propose installing small banks of dense tree coverage.
Map of canopy cover (white) and micro-urban heat islands (black)
Aniello, C., Morgan, K., Busbey, A., & Newland, L. (1995). Mapping micro-urban heat islands using Landsat TM and a GIS. Computers & Geosciences, 21(8), 965-969.
I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. Mattie Cryer