What is an urban heat island?

Trees for Energy Conservation November 29, 2012|Print

Cities are often referred to as urban heat islands. This is due to the lack of vegetation in city centers when compared to suburban, exurban and rural areas.

Buildings, asphalt, and concrete absorb solar energy, resulting in the emission of longwave radiation that then heats the air and atmosphere in cities. Cities also use large amounts of energy and emit this energy as waste heat, adding to the urban heat island effect. 

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