Urban Vegetation Key Regulator for Heat Island Intensity

Higher temperatures in urban areas expose a large fraction of the human population to potentially dangerous heat stress. Paschalis et al. [2021] use state-of-the-art satellite data for 145 city clusters to disentangle the drivers of surface Urban Heat Island intensity (SUHI) and to quantify urban-rural differences in vegetation cover, species composition, and evaporative cooling.

Daytime SUHIs are highly correlated with vegetation characteristics and the wetness of the background climate. Magnitude and seasonality of daytime SUHIs are controlled by urban-rural differences in plant transpiration and leaf area, explaining the dependence of SUHIs on wetness conditions. Urban vegetation is the most…

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