Urban Heat Island and its Environmental Impacts

The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is formed when higher atmospheric and surface temperatures in urbanized areas are observed over the surrounding rural areas (Voogt and Oke, 2003). UHI is mainly caused by the combination of anthropogenic heat discharge due to energy consumption, increased impervious surface area, and decreased vegetation and water area (Kato and Yamaguchi, 2005). Quantification of each heat flux in the energy balance, especially the human induced anthropogenic heat discharge and its spatial pattern, is important to improve the understanding of human impacts on the urban environment, a key issue in global environmental change. On the other hand, UHI has a number of effects on the community's environment and quality of life, i.e. increased energy consumption and compromised comfort. In this research area, we are studying the UHI formation and its impacts on environment and human life.

Relevant Publications
  1. Li, X., Y. Zhou*, G. R. Asrar, M. Imhoff & X. Li, 2017. The surface urban heat island response to urban expansion: A panel analysis for the conterminous United States. Science of The Total Environment, 605–606, 426-435.
  2. Zhou, Y., Q. Weng, K. R. Gurney, Y. Shuai, and X. Hu, 2012. Estimation of the relationship between remotely sensed anthropogenic heat discharge and building energy use. ISPRS J. Photogram. Remote Sensing, 67, 65-72