Hot Town: Summer in the City

By path2positive

Among the many anticipated and increasingly observed adverse impacts of a warning climate is a rise of the urban “heat island” effect. Local leaders have begun addressing this problem with simple measures that protect their citizens from dangerous heat while also saving energy.

Climate Central recently posted a report detailing observed increases in urban heat for more than 60 US cities. On average, urban heat can be 17.5 degrees higher than surrounding areas, and cities are sweating through eight more searing hot days today than in 2004. Heat extremes are even worse in some of the cities included in the report.

Heat is the biggest weather-related killer in the US, and the combination of higher temperatures and increasing urban populations means local leaders will need to ramp up solutions for cooling our cities and our people. Fortunately, there are numerous means of reducing urban heat, and they are all relatively inexpensive. Measures as simple as planting more trees and vegetation, installing green or white roofs, and using cool and permeable pavements help to cool cities, and have co-benefits associated with energy use reduction and stormwater management.

Hot and Getting Hotter

Climate Central Staff | August 20, 2014

Cities are almost always hotter than the surrounding rural area but global warming takes that heat and makes it worse. In the future, this combination of urbanization and climate change could raise urban temperatures to levels that threaten human health, strain energy resources, and compromise economic productivity. Summers in the U.S. have been warming since 1970. But on average across the country cities are even hotter, and have been getting hotter faster than adjacent rural areas. (report continues below interactive)

Read more


Stay connected and get updates from Path to Positive.


You May Also Like

September 21, 2023

What can you do in your local community to significantly reduce climate warming emissions? Consider composting! Food waste accounts for emissions equivalent to 42 coal...

Read More

September 19, 2023

Most of us feel the responsibility to create a safe and healthy climate for our families and future generations. This includes ensuring a stable climate,...

Read More

July 25, 2023

The summer heat has set in. In fact, it’s been some of the most extreme heat the planet has ever seen. As the temperatures rise,...

Read More


Path to Positive is a program of ecoAmerica


© ecoAmerica 2006 – 2022 The contents of this website may be shared and used under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International License.