Cities around the world have a fever. Urban dwellers suffer more from severe temperatures in the summer than people who live in greener areas nearby. It is a dangerous consequence of what scientists call an “urban heat island.” The worst part is that the urban heat island effect is caused by some neighborhoods, usually those with more low-income residents colors, even hotter than others.
The problem is that cities were built in a way that recovered heat. Satellites can see this phenomenon from space. Scientists working with NASA have used satellite data map changes in surface temperatures from suburbs to cities and from affluent suburbs to communities that have received less investment over time.
Measuring urban temperatures and finding ways to cool is a matter of life and death. Extreme heat has killed more people on average per year In the United States than any other weather-related event in the last 30 years.
Limit hit the streets of New York with thermal imagers to find out if we could find our own evidence of the impact of an urban heat island. We were quite shocked at how bad it was in the Big Apple. Watch this in our video itself. You can also see our information on the map below.
You can view full interactive version here.
The map above shows which neighborhoods in New York are considered the most “heat sensitive. “In heat-sensitive East Harlem, The Verge documents the country’s average surface temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit. It was over 20 degrees hotter than our readings we took in the affluent Upper East Side. Verge took these readings with a thermal camera on June 24, 2021, when the air temperature at the nearest NOAA weather station in Central Park peaked at 77 degrees.