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A Review on the Generation, Determination and Mitigation of Urban Heat Island

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Urban Heat Island (UHI) is considered as one of the major problems in the 21st century posed to human beings as a result of urbanization and industrialization of human civilization. The large amount of heat generated from urban structures, as

Urban Heat Island (UHI) is considered as one of the major problems in the 21st century posed to human beings as a result of urbanization and industrialization of human civilization. The large amount of heat generated from urban structures, as they consume and re-radiate solar radiations, and from the anthropogenic heat sources are the main causes of UHI. The two heat sources increase the temperatures of an urban area as compared to its surroundings, which is known as Urban Heat Island Intensity (UHII). The problem is even worse in cities or metropolises with large population and extensive economic activities. The estimated three billion people living in the urban areas in the world are directly exposed to the problem, which will be increased significantly in the near future. Due to the severity of the problem, vast research effort has been dedicated and a wide range of literature is available for the subject. The literature available in this area includes the latest research approaches, concepts, methodologies, latest investigation tools and mitigation measures. This study was carried out to review and summarize this research area through an investigation of the most important feature of UHI. It was concluded that the heat re-radiated by the urban structures plays the most important role which should be investigated in details to study urban heating especially the UHI. It was also concluded that the future research should be focused on design and planning parameters for reducing the effects of urban heat island and ultimately living in a better environment.

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2007-09-27

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Effects of urbanization on arthropod diversity, community structure and trophic dynamics

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Urban ecosystems cover less than 3% of the Earth's land surface, yet more than half of the human population lives in urban areas. The process of urbanization stresses biodiversity and other ecosystem functions within and far beyond the city. To

Urban ecosystems cover less than 3% of the Earth's land surface, yet more than half of the human population lives in urban areas. The process of urbanization stresses biodiversity and other ecosystem functions within and far beyond the city. To understand the mechanisms underlying observed changes in biodiversity patterns, several observational and experimental studies were performed in the metropolitan area of Phoenix, Arizona, and the surrounding Sonoran Desert. The first study was comprised of seven years of arthropod monitoring using pitfall traps in common urban land-use types. This study revealed differences in community structure, diversity and abundance over time and between urban and wildland habitats. Urban habitats with high productivity had higher abundances of arthropods, but lower diversity compared to wildland habitats. Arthropod abundance in less-productive urban habitats was positively correlated with precipitation, but abundance in high-productivity urban habitats was completely decoupled from annual fluctuations in precipitation. This study showed the buffering capacity and the habitat heterogeneity of urban areas. To test the mechanisms controlling community diversity and structure in urban areas, a major field experiment was initiated. Productivity of the native shrub Encelia farinosa and bird predation of associated arthropods were manipulated to test whether bottom-up or top-down forces were more important in urban habitats compared to wildland habitats. Abundance, richness and similarity were monitored, revealing clear differences between urban and wildland habitats. An unusually cold and dry first season had a negative effect on plant growth and arthropod abundance. Plants in urban habitats were relatively unaffected by the low temperature. An increase in arthropod abundance with water availability indicated bottom-up forces in wildland habitats, whereas results from bird exclusions suggested that bird predation may not be as prominent in cities as previously thought. In contrast to the pitfall study, arthropod abundance was lower in urban habitats. A second field experiment testing the sheltering effect of urban structures demonstrated that reduced wind speed is an important factor facilitating plant growth in urban areas. A mathematical model incorporating wind, water and temperature demonstrated that urban habitats may be more robust than wildland habitats, supporting the empirical results.

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2010

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How Do Variations in Urban Heat Islands in Space and Time Influence Household Water Use? The Case of Phoenix, Arizona

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This paper explores how urbanization, through its role in the evolution of Urban Heat Island (UHI), affects residential water consumption. Using longitudinal data and drawing on a mesoscale atmospheric model, we examine how variations in surface temperature at the census

This paper explores how urbanization, through its role in the evolution of Urban Heat Island (UHI), affects residential water consumption. Using longitudinal data and drawing on a mesoscale atmospheric model, we examine how variations in surface temperature at the census tract level have affected water use in single family residences in Phoenix, Arizona. Results show that each Fahrenheit rise in nighttime temperature increases water consumption by 1.4%. This temperature effect is found to vary significantly with lot size and pool size. The study provides insights into the links between urban form and water use, through the dynamics of UHI.

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2012-06-14