To prepare for rising temperatures, scientists map urban ‘hot spots’

Heat islands can run 17 degrees F hotter than a city’s cooler areas. Studying them now may yield ideas for mitigating future warming.

Thermometer-wielding volunteer drivers are partnering with climate researchers to create maps of urban heat islands across the United States. On a hot day in Washington, D.C., for example, temperatures varied nearly 17 degrees F between the warmest spot and the coolest. To cope with the heat, many cities are planting trees and carving out open spaces. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which funded the research, plans to expand it to help cities figure out ways to keep their cool in a warming world.

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