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Impact of Material Properties and Urban Geometry on Urban Heat Island Effect

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Utilizing an urban canopy model (UCM) developed by Zhihua Wang, Ph.D. for a research study conducted for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), several scenarios were run in order to determine the impact on the mitigation of the urban heat

Utilizing an urban canopy model (UCM) developed by Zhihua Wang, Ph.D. for a research study conducted for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), several scenarios were run in order to determine the impact on the mitigation of the urban heat island (UHI) effect. These scenarios included various roof albedo, wall albedo, ground albedo, a combination of all three albedos, roof emissivity, wall emissivity, ground emissivity, a combination of all three emissivities, and normalized building height as independent variables. Dependent variables included canyon air temperature, effective ground temperature, effective roof temperature, effective wall temperature, and sensible heat flux. It was found that emissivity does play a part in reducing the different dependent variables; however, typically emissivity values are already within a preferred range that not much can be done with them. Normalized building height has a minor impact but the impact that it does have upon the different variables is lessened with lower values of the normalized building height. Increasing the wall albedo decreased the canyon air temperature and the effective wall temperature the most compared to the other variables when considering expenses. An increase in roof albedo reduced effective roof temperature and sensible heat flux the most when taking into consideration the cost of changing the albedo of the surface. Larger values of ground albedo helped to reduce the effective ground temperature more than the other variables considered when a budget is necessary.

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Date Created
2015-05

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Urban Heat Island Effect and Rodent Body Condition

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The built environment increases radiant heat exchange in urban areas by several degrees hotter compared to non-urban areas. Research has investigated how urbanization and heat affect human health; but there is scant literature on the effects of urban heat on

The built environment increases radiant heat exchange in urban areas by several degrees hotter compared to non-urban areas. Research has investigated how urbanization and heat affect human health; but there is scant literature on the effects of urban heat on wildlife. Animal body condition can be used to assess overall health. This parameter estimates the storage of energy-rich fat, which is important for growth, survival, and reproduction. The purpose of my research was to examine the Urban Heat Island effect on wild rodents across urban field sites spanning three strata of land surface temperature. Site level surface temperatures were measured using temperature data loggers and I captured 116 adult pocket mice (Chaetodipus spp. and Perognathus spp.) and Merriam’s kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) to measure their body condition using accurate and noninvasive quantitative magnetic resonance. I used baited Sherman live traps from mid-May to early September during 2019 and 2020 in mountainous urban parks and open spaces over two summers. Rodents were captured at seven sites near the Phoenix metropolitan area; an ideal area for examining the effect of extreme heat experienced by urban wildlife. Results supported the prediction that rodent body condition was greatest in the cooler temperature stratas compared to the hottest temperature strata. I related rodent body condition to environmental predictors to dispute to environmental predictors to dispute alternative hypotheses; such as vegetation cover and degree of urbanization. Results based on measures of body fat and environmental predictors show pocket mice have more fat where vegetation is higher, nighttime temperatures are lower, surface temperatures are lower, and urbanization is greater. Kangaroo rats have more fat where surface temperature is lower. My results contribute to understanding the negative effects of extreme heat on body condition and generalized health experienced by urban wildlife because of the built environment. This research shows a need to investigate further impacts of urban heat on wildlife. Management suggestions for urban parks and open spaces include increasing vegetation cover, reducing impervious surface, and building with materials that reduce radiant heat.

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Date Created
2021