Urban heat island phenomenon explained

Senior Sustainability Scientist Matei Georgescu spoke from Phoenix to Beijing viewers of China Central TV-America about urban heat island effects on a July 17th broadcast. The urban heat island effect—when temperatures soar in metropolitan areas due to development—is no stranger to cities like Phoenix and Beijing.

"In essence, urban areas are heat sinks—they absorb incoming solar radiation differently than the natural landscape would," explained Georgescu, also an assistant professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. "In cities, incoming solar radiation is trapped in the built environment during the day, and is not released as efficiently in the evening as it would be, had the megapolitan environment not been present."

Georgescu's research investigates the effects of the urban heat island, which include human and animal health issues and increased energy consumption.