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New York City Regional Heat Island Initiative

  1. To model New York City's urban heat island during heat wave events and assess the effectiveness of heat island mitigation strategies, including urban forestation, light surfaces, and living roofs; and
  2. To evaluate potential interactive consequences associated with heat islands.
  3. An urban heat island refers to a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding areas. The graphics depict temperatures and vegetation in New York City and surrounding areas. The top image represents temperatures. The dark purple areas are those where temperatures are warm and the lighter areas are those where temperatures are hot. The bottom image shows vegetation in the same geographic area. The darker green areas are those where vegetation exists. From looking at the two images, one can see that in areas with vegetation, temperatures are not as hot as those areas without vegetation. This is in effect a description of the urban heat island effect.

NYC heat map
Source: NASA.
These maps show the relationship between vegatation and temperature in the New York City area .

Last Updated: 12/16/2013