October 20, 2009

Sacramento's Urban Heat Island, circa 1998

Photograph taken at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SUMD) Customer Service Headquarters

This map of surface temperatures is the product of a 1998 NASA flyover of Sacramento. The hottest temperatures are represented by red, orange and yellow while cooler temperatures are represented by green, blue, and purple. The map illustrates the city's urban heat island. Impermeable, dry surfaces, more common in urban areas, have elevated temperatures which contributes to greater energy use and emissions, poor water quality, and reduced human healthiness (see Eric Klinenberg's Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago).

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