Kansas City Urban Heat Island Research Seminar by Kyle Reed - November 8, 2018
The Effect of Urban Land Cover on Local Climate: A Look at Kansas City’s Urban Heat Island and its Mitigation Using Widespread Implementation of Cool Roofs
Climate change has become a great concern over recent years, especially how humans have affected Earth’s climate. One way in which humans have affected local climate is through urban heat islands (UHI), a phenomenon that causes the temperature within cities to become greater than that of the surrounding rural areas due to anthropogenic land cover changes. Due to this effect, individuals that live in metropolitan areas are in a unique position to experience greater temperature extremes compared to those living in more rural areas. There are multiple factors that contribute to UHIs, including imperviousness of concrete and asphalt to moisture, greater greenhouse gas emissions than rural areas, decreased air circulation due to tall buildings, and low albedo of surfaces. The combination of these factors has led to the Kansas City metropolitan area having the seventh most intense UHI in the United States. As the global climate continues to increase, methods to assist in reduction of the UHI intensity, such as cool roofs, will become more important. In this webinar, we will review background information related to our research, including UHIs and different approaches used to mitigate this effect. We will then look at our current research into the Kansas City metropolitan area’s UHI and the impact of widespread implementation of cool roofs during a heat wave in July 2012 using the Weather Research and Forecasting model. Plans for our future research will then be discussed.