CAP Instrumental in Forwarding Urban Heat Island Research

Transform science An interdisciplinary group of CAP researchers has been instrumental in studying the Phoenix urban heat island (UHI), creating a substantial and influential body of research, which is detailed in a recent article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The article’s authors, CAP researchers Winston Chow and Anthony Brazel with their colleague Dean Brennan from the City of Phoenix Planning Department, note that peer-reviewed research on the Phoenix UHI (55 articles by mid-2011) significantly exceeds that on other major American metropolitan areas, such as New York, Houston, and Los Angeles. They identify three factors that have influenced the flourishing of UHI research in Phoenix: partnerships between the academy and private sector agencies, a well-developed and extensive urban meteorological station network, and strong local media coverage on the UHI. Regarding the former, the authors point to the importance of interdisciplinary research within CAP LTER in forwarding UHI research and integrating scientific and social science inquiry in urban meteorology and climatology. What the humble authors do not mention is the significant leadership and mentoring role Anthony Brazel, a Professor Emeritus in ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and a CAP senior scientist, has played in forwarding Phoenix UHI research. He and his students have authored many of the Phoenix UHI papers.