• May 4, 2024

Heat Island Effect : An alarming threat for Urban People

Heat Island Effect : An alarming threat for Urban People

Children you are much familiar with the word “Island”. It is the land surrounded by water from all sides. We have lot of islands in the Indian Territory like Andaman & Nicobar Islands which are surrounded by waters of Bay of Bengal and Lakshadweep islands surrounded by water of Arabian Sea. But have you heard about Heat Islands? Where they are located?

It is not a land or place but it is a Phenomenon of temperature. This phenomenon is mostly prevailed in the Urban Areas, hence it is named as Urban Heat island effect. What is it?

“Prevailing of relatively higher temperatures in the urban areas than surrounding rural areas” is called Heat Island effect. The difference is more in the night time than day time. Urban areas [Towns, Cities, Metros] record more temperature in the night time than Rural Areas[Villages]. It is high especially in the summer period.

Observe the below Temperature graph. In that, Temperature is gradually increasing when approaching sub-urban and urban areas from rural areas. uhi

Reasons for this Temperature Variation:

  • More radiation absorbing spaces in urban areas like high network of Cement Concrete roads, Asphalt/Bituminous roads, dense buildings, sky scrapers.
  • Low evapotranspiration due to low green space, lack of trees and grass lands.
  • High emission (GHG gases) releasing activities like more usage of vehicles, factories which trap more heat in urban areas than rural areas.

Read the following illustration which explains the difference between Urban and Rural areas and which is self explanatory.

rural vs urban

Consequences of Heat Island effect

  • Effect on overall human health due to increased heat stress such as heat strokes, dehydration etc.
  • Increased usage of Power for cooling which in turn increase the power generating burden.
  • Decreased organisms in the water bodies due to increase of temperature
  • Increased Expenditure on power bills which became burden for urban people.

How to reduce the effect?

  • Planting of trees ♣ on sides of roads, streets
  • Growing of Miyawaki type forests(https://minds9.com/miyawaki-forest-a-ray-of-hope-for-urban-air-pollution/)/Gardens in the small vacant lands.
  • Reducing of vehicular pollution by usage of public transport and usage of Bicycles for smaller distances
  • Non converting of vacant public lands into commercial space
  • Non converting of urban water bodies into residential areas.

Who is responsible to control the heat islands?

  • Urban Government Authorities such as Commissioners of Municipal corporations, District Collectors etc.
  • Urban political representatives such as Corporators, Chairman of Corporations, Mayors etc.
  • Urban People

Coordinated sustained efforts of all the people living in urban areas will give the results in the longer run which increases the quality of life in the urban areas.






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