Jason Vargo (PhD '12) discusses his work researching the urban heat island effect

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A recent study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison offers one of the most detailed records of the variation in temperature between cities and the surrounding rural areas, known as the urban heat island effect. Cities tend to retain heat more than rural areas because dark surfaces absorb heat in the day and concrete is much slower than vegetation to release heat at night. In areas with more vegetation, plant evapotranspiration helps to cool the air.  Other variable environmental factors like wind speed, cloud cover, humidity, soil moisture and snow cover also played a part in the warming effect. Land elevation and lake proximity also altered temperatures in specific areas. "Having better data allows us to look at a lot more variability across the metro area, not just at a period of weather," said Jason Vargo, SCaRP PhD alumnus and researcher at the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment. Vargo was not involved in the original research but is working with Jason Schatz of the Nelson Institute on a follow-up study. They are using the neighborhood-specific temperature data to study how the urban heat island effect may relate to hospital admissions and crime in specific parts of the city.

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School of City & Regional Planning

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Keywords
Global Warming, heat island, jason vargo, new urbanism, phd alumni, urbanization
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  • Created By: Jessie Brandon
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 16, 2015 - 8:29am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:27pm