Phoenix Regional Heat and Air Quality Knowledge Repository
This repository houses peer-reviewed literature, data sets, reports, and other materials generated by researchers, practitioners, and other regional stakeholders that may be informative for local and regional efforts mitigating the adverse impacts of heat. The collection is intended to serve as a resource for anyone looking for information on top research findings, reports, or initiatives related to heat and air quality. This includes community, local, state, and regional partners and other interested parties contributing to heat and air quality planning, preparedness, and response activities.
Using National Land Cover Data we analyzed land fragmentation trends from 1992 to 2001 in five southwestern cities associated with Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites.
Given increasing utility of numerical models to examine urban impacts on meteorology and climate, there exists an urgent need for accurate representation of seasonally and diurnally varying anthropogenic heating data, an important component of the urban energy budget for cities across the world. Incorporation of anthropogenic heating data as inputs to existing climate modeling systems has direct societal implications ranging from improved prediction of energy demand to health assessment, but such data are lacking for most cities. To address this deficiency we have applied a standardized procedure to develop a national database of seasonally and diurnally varying anthropogenic heating profiles for 61 of the largest cities in the United Stated (U.S.). Recognizing the importance of spatial scale, the anthropogenic heating database developed includes the city scale and the accompanying greater metropolitan area.
Our analysis reveals that a single profile function can adequately represent anthropogenic heating during summer but two profile functions are required in winter, one for warm climate cities and another for cold climate cities. On average, although anthropogenic heating is 40% larger in winter than summer, the electricity sector contribution peaks during summer and is smallest in winter. Because such data are similarly required for international cities where urban climate assessments are also ongoing, we have made a simple adjustment accounting for different international energy consumption rates relative to the U.S. to generate seasonally and diurnally varying anthropogenic heating profiles for a range of global cities. The methodological approach presented here is flexible and straightforwardly applicable to cities not modeled because of presently unavailable data. Because of the anticipated increase in global urban populations for many decades to come, characterizing this fundamental aspect of the urban environment – anthropogenic heating – is an essential element toward continued progress in urban climate assessment.
The association between a developing urban heat island and local monthly averaged wind speeds is examined in this investigation. Results from a series of statistical analyses show a significant increase in wind speeds in Phoenix, Arizona during the period of rapid heat island development. The increase in winds is found to be much stronger at 0500 MST than at 1400 MST. Increased instability and the development of a strong heat low circulation in the urban environment are suggested as probable causes for the increased wind speeds.
This study assessed the spatial distribution of vulnerability to extreme heat in 1990 and 2000 within metropolitan Phoenix based on an index of seven equally weighted measures of physical exposure and adaptive capacity. These measures were derived from spatially interpolated climate, normalized differential vegetation index, and U.S. Census data. From resulting vulnerability maps, we also analyzed population groups living in areas of high heat vulnerability. Results revealed that landscapes of heat vulnerability changed substantially in response to variations in physical and socioeconomic factors, with significant alterations to spatial distribution of vulnerability especially between eastern and western sectors of Phoenix. These changes worked to the detriment of Phoenix's Hispanic population and the elderly concentrated in urban-fringe retirement communities.
The impacts of land-cover composition on urban temperatures, including temperature extremes, are well documented. Much less attention has been devoted to the consequences of land-cover configuration, most of which addresses land surface temperatures. This study explores the role of both composition and configuration—or land system architecture—of residential neighborhoods in the Phoenix metropolitan area, on near-surface air temperature. It addresses two-dimensional, spatial attributes of buildings, impervious surfaces, bare soil/rock, vegetation and the “urbanscape” at large, from 50 m to 550 m at 100 m increments, for a representative 30-day high sun period. Linear mixed-effects models evaluate the significance of land system architecture metrics at different spatial aggregation levels. The results indicate that, controlling for land-cover composition and geographical variables, land-cover configuration, specifically the fractal dimension of buildings, is significantly associated with near-surface temperatures. In addition, statistically significant predictors related to composition and configuration appear to depend on the adopted level of spatial aggregation.
With rapidly expanding urban regions, the effects of land cover changes on urban surface temperatures and the consequences of these changes for human health are becoming progressively larger problems.
We investigated residential parcel and neighborhood scale variations in urban land surface temperature, land cover, and residents’ perceptions of landscapes and heat illnesses in the subtropical desert city of Phoenix, AZ USA.
We conducted an airborne imaging campaign that acquired high resolution urban land surface temperature data (7 m/pixel) during the day and night. We performed a geographic overlay of these data with high resolution land cover maps, parcel boundaries, neighborhood boundaries, and a household survey.
Land cover composition, including percentages of vegetated, building, and road areas, and values for NDVI, and albedo, was correlated with residential parcel surface temperatures and the effects differed between day and night. Vegetation was more effective at cooling hotter neighborhoods. We found consistencies between heat risk factors in neighborhood environments and residents’ perceptions of these factors. Symptoms of heat-related illness were correlated with parcel scale surface temperature patterns during the daytime but no corresponding relationship was observed with nighttime surface temperatures.
Residents’ experiences of heat vulnerability were related to the daytime land surface thermal environment, which is influenced by micro-scale variation in land cover composition. These results provide a first look at parcel-scale causes and consequences of urban surface temperature variation and provide a critically needed perspective on heat vulnerability assessment studies conducted at much coarser scales.
The relationship between the characteristics of the urban land system and land surface temperature (LST) has received increasing attention in urban heat island and sustainability research, especially for desert cities. This research generally employs medium or coarser spatial resolution data and primarily focuses on the effects of a few classes of land-cover composition and pattern at the neighborhood or larger level using regression models. This study explores the effects of land system architecture—composition and configuration, both pattern and shape, of fine-grain land-cover classes—on LST of single family residential parcels in the Phoenix, Arizona (southwestern USA) metropolitan area. A 1 m resolution land-cover map is used to calculate land architecture metrics at the parcel level, and 6.8 m resolution MODIS/ASTER data are employed to retrieve LST. Linear mixed-effects models quantify the impacts of land configuration on LST at the parcel scale, controlling for the effects of land composition and neighborhood characteristics. Results indicate that parcel-level land-cover composition has the strongest association with daytime and nighttime LST, but the configuration of this cover, foremost compactness and concentration, also affects LST, with different associations between land architecture and LST at nighttime and daytime. Given information on land system architecture at the parcel level, additional information based on geographic and socioeconomic variables does not improve the generalization capability of the statistical models. The results point the way towards parcel-level land-cover design that helps to mitigate the urban heat island effect for warm desert cities, although tradeoffs with other sustainability indicators must be considered.
This study examines the impact of spatial landscape configuration (e.g., clustered, dispersed) on land-surface temperatures (LST) over Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We classified detailed land-cover types via object-based image analysis (OBIA) using Geoeye-1 at 3-m resolution (Las Vegas) and QuickBird at 2.4-m resolution (Phoenix). Spatial autocorrelation (local Moran’s I ) was then used to test for spatial dependence and to determine how clustered or dispersed points were arranged. Next, we used Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data acquired over Phoenix (daytime on 10 June and nighttime on 17 October 2011) and Las Vegas (daytime on 6 July and nighttime on 27 August 2005) to examine day- and nighttime LST with regard to the spatial arrangement of anthropogenic and vegetation features. Local Moran’s I values of each land-cover type were spatially correlated to surface temperature. The spatial configuration of grass and trees shows strong negative correlations with LST, implying that clustered vegetation lowers surface temperatures more effectively. In contrast, clustered spatial arrangements of anthropogenic land-cover types, especially impervious surfaces and open soil, elevate LST. These findings suggest that city planners and managers should, where possible, incorporate clustered grass and trees to disperse unmanaged soil and paved surfaces, and fill open unmanaged soil with vegetation. Our findings are in line with national efforts to augment and strengthen green infrastructure, complete streets, parking management, and transit-oriented development practices, and reduce sprawling, unwalkable housing development.
This study seeks to determine the role of land architecture—the composition and configuration of land cover—as well as cadastral/demographic/economic factors on land surface temperature (LST) and the surface urban heat island effect of Phoenix, Arizona. It employs 1 m National Agricultural Imagery Program data of land-cover with 120mLandsat-derived land surface temperature, decomposed to 30 m, a new measure of configuration, the normalized moment of inertia, and U.S. Census data to address the question for two randomly selected samples comprising 523 and 545 residential neighborhoods (census blocks) in the city. The results indicate that, contrary to most other studies, land configuration has a stronger influence on LST than land composition. In addition, both land configuration and architecture combined with cadastral, demographic, and economic variables, capture a significant amount of explained variance in LST. The results indicate that attention to land architecture in the development of or reshaping of neighborhoods may ameliorate the summer extremes in LST.
Background: Extreme heat is a public health challenge. The scarcity of directly comparable studies on the association of heat with morbidity and mortality and the inconsistent identification of threshold temperatures for severe impacts hampers the development of comprehensive strategies aimed at reducing adverse heat-health events.
Objectives: This quantitative study was designed to link temperature with mortality and morbidity events in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with a focus on the summer season.
Methods: Using Poisson regression models that controlled for temporal confounders, we assessed daily temperature–health associations for a suite of mortality and morbidity events, diagnoses, and temperature metrics. Minimum risk temperatures, increasing risk temperatures, and excess risk temperatures were statistically identified to represent different “trigger points” at which heat-health intervention measures might be activated.
Results: We found significant and consistent associations of high environmental temperature with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, heat-related mortality, and mortality resulting from conditions that are consequences of heat and dehydration. Hospitalizations and emergency department visits due to heat-related conditions and conditions associated with consequences of heat and dehydration were also strongly associated with high temperatures, and there were several times more of those events than there were deaths. For each temperature metric, we observed large contrasts in trigger points (up to 22°C) across multiple health events and diagnoses.
Conclusion: Consideration of multiple health events and diagnoses together with a comprehensive approach to identifying threshold temperatures revealed large differences in trigger points for possible interventions related to heat. Providing an array of heat trigger points applicable for different end-users may improve the public health response to a problem that is projected to worsen in the coming decades.