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Heat Island Effect

Newsroom Archive

February 2014

  • Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis Researcher Publishes Results of Climate StudyExit EPA Disclaimer (February 5, 2014) – Researchers at the Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental & Spatial Analysis at the University of North Georgia introduced a new framework and terminology for thinking about and studying urbanization and its effects on the climate system.

  • Houston Urban Forestry Event Focuses on Benefits of TreesExit EPA Disclaimer (February 11, 2014) – Northwest Harris County, Texas, gained more than 1,000 new trees during the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council's 2014 Tree Planting Competition. The contest is designed to help educate people on proper ways to plant trees and on the benefits of urban forestry for the community.

  • Heat Island Reduction Strategies Could Curb Warming from Urban Growth, Study FindsExit EPA Disclaimer (February 12, 2014) – Researchers examined six “megapolitan” regions in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, the Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic to predict how much they would warm under different urban growth and development scenarios. According to the study, urban areas can offset that warming through strategies such as slowing their expansion, painting roofs white to reflect heat, or planting rooftop vegetation to cool the air.

  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources Announces Urban Forestry FundingExit EPA Disclaimer (February 19, 2014) – The Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry has awarded $118,343 in federal funds to 12 cities, towns, and non-profits in Indiana for urban forestry projects, including tree inventory and analysis for management planning, new tree plantings, and education and awareness campaigns.

  • Keeping Urban Trees Healthy During DroughtExit EPA Disclaimer (February 24, 2014) – Watering and caring for urban trees during drought is important. Shaded landscapes retain soil moisture and keep the city cool, and when it does rain, a mature tree can capture thousands of gallons of rainwater in its canopy and root zone, sinking that rain into the aquifer instead of allowing it to run off into storm drains.

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

January 2013

  • Green Roofs Help Brighten Up Hospital StaysExit EPA Disclaimer (January 8, 2013) - Hospitals are providing a permanent green space for the comfort and emotional well-being of patients, while also reducing the hospitals’ carbon footprints.

  • Green Roof Provides Chance for ResearchExit EPA Disclaimer (January 10, 2013) - Horticulture scientists at Mississippi State University are studying and recording the effects of the coastal climate on rooftop gardens in Gulfport.

  • World’s Greenest Building, Bullitt Center, Opens on Earth Day in SeattleExit EPA Disclaimer (January 16, 2013) - The Bullitt Center, a six-story, 50,000 square-foot building was constructed to exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification and meet the strenuous Living Building Challenge standards. The builders claim it will be the “greenest” office building on the planet.

  • Rivers Can Help Reduce the “Urban Heat Island Effect”Exit EPA Disclaimer (January 18, 2013) - A recent UK study of urban heat island mitigation strategies has demonstrated that even a small urban river can result in a cooling effect of 1°C during temperatures higher than 20°C. Furthermore, the cooling effects can be improved by careful urban design of the surrounding areas.

  • Heat From Urban Centers Can Have Far-Ranging Effect: NCAR StudyExit EPA Disclaimer (January 27, 2013) - A recent study in which the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) was a participant found that heat generated through everyday activities in one urban setting can affect the jet stream and other atmospheric systems.

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

  • Members of UD, Delaware Community Celebrate Green Roof CompletionExit EPA Disclaimer (October 2, 2012) - U.S. Senator Tom Carper and members of the Delaware community joined University of Delaware (UD) students and faculty to celebrate the completion of the university’s first green roof on a classroom building. The project received funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program, the DuPont Clear into the Future program, and two UD programs.

  • Cleaning the Urban Environment with "Sustainable Backyards"Exit EPA Disclaimer (October 2, 2012) - Chicago’s Sustainable Backyards program provides rebates that reimburse citizens for up to 50 percent of the cost of installing trees, native plants, compost bins, and/or rain barrels. The program helps residents join the city in cooling heat islands, reducing stormwater pollution, cleaning the air, and improving public health.

  • Living Roofs Boost Solar Panel PerformanceExit EPA Disclaimer (October 3, 2012) - In addition to heat island reduction, there are added benefits to green roofs. If solar panels are combined with green roofs, evaporative cooling induced by plants can lead to lower ambient air temperatures, which increases the output of solar cells.

  • C40 Partners with Global Cool Cities Alliance to Tackle ‘Heat Island Effect’ in CitiesExit EPA Disclaimer (October 4, 2012) - C40 has partnered with the Global Cool Cities Alliance to advance policies and actions in cities that increase the solar reflectance of building roofs and pavements.

  • Louisville Starts Efforts to Adapt to Harsher ClimesExit EPA Disclaimer (October 14, 2012) - Louisville, Kentucky’s city officials and business leaders are taking their first steps to prepare for harsher climate conditions. For example, while announcing his tree initiative, Mayor Greg Fischer cited the need to shrink Louisville’s urban heat island.

  • D.C. Tree Planting UnderwayExit EPA Disclaimer (October 19, 2012) - The District of Columbia Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Administration is planting 6,400 trees across D.C. as part of a $1.8 million dollar program. Benefits include stormwater reduction, improved air quality, and lower temperatures.

September 2012

  • As Temps Rise, Cities Combat 'Heat Island' EffectExit EPA Disclaimer (September 4, 2012) - Atlanta is combating the heat island effect by increasing green space through programs that include urban gardens, farms, and tree planting and preservation.

  • World's Largest Green Roof Tops a Parking GarageExit EPA Disclaimer (September 10, 2012) - The 24.5 acre green roof on Millennial Park’s garage in downtown Chicago helps to mitigate the urban heat island effect, reduce storm water runoff, lower energy consumption, provide acoustic protection, and create habitat for birds and insects.

  • Rooftop Farms Next Logical Step in “Green” BuildingExit EPA Disclaimer (September 11, 2012) - Rooftop farms help with food production while providing the benefits of traditional green roofs, which include lower building temperatures, energy costs, and stormwater runoff.

  • Minimizing the Urban Heat Island Effect Could Reduce RainfallExit EPA Disclaimer (September 12, 2012) - Researchers from Arizona State University found that increasing reflectivity by painting roofs white may modify hydroclimatic processes and reduce rainfall in Arizona's Sun Corridor, which is centered upon the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

  • Berkeley Lab Researchers Showcase Cool Pavement Technologies (September 13, 2012) - Researchers from the Berkeley Lab Heat Island Group applied six coatings of different colors to a parking lot to evaluate performance.

  • PS 41 Unveils Green RoofExit EPA Disclaimer (September 21, 2012) - PS 41, a public school in New York City, completed a green roof that also serves as an outdoor science lab for students.

  • Online Tools Makes The Cost-Effective Case For Green RoofsExit EPA Disclaimer (September 27, 2012) - Portland State University developed an online Green Roof Energy Calculator to compare the annual energy performance of a building with a vegetative green roof to the same building with either a dark roof or a white roof.

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

 

April 2012

  • Brooklyn Grange in Enormous Urban GardenExit EPA Disclaimer (April 2, 2012) - A roof in Brooklyn is being transformed into a vast urban garden. The green roof will reduce rooftop temperatures, reduce rainwater runoff, and utilize solar panels while producing fruits and vegetables.

  • Green rooftops Help Clean Up Beijing's AirExit EPA Disclaimer (April 2, 2012) - The Beijing municipal government has made plans to improve the quality of the city's air by covering 100,000 square meters of roofs with greenery by the end of this year.

  • Escape the Urban Heat Island-Nominated for a $10,000 Grant from Odwalla’s Plant a Tree ProgramExit EPA Disclaimer (April 3, 2012) - Odwalla is donating $10,000 to worthy organizations through its 2012 Plant a Tree program, and Environment Action Association’s Escape the Urban Heat Island is in the running for one of the grants.

  • Urban Heat Amplifies Death Risk for ElderlyExit EPA Disclaimer (April 13, 2012) A study finds that older people living in urban areas that do not cool down sufficiently at night are twice as likely to die during heat waves than those living in the suburbs.

  • New Ordinances Mean You Can’t Pave over the Yard for More ParkingExit EPA Disclaimer (April 13, 2012) - Two new zoning ordinances in Somerville, Massachusetts encourage green roofs and limit impervious surfaces. The new policies strive to reduce the heat island effect by reducing paving.

  • Painting Roofs White is as Green as Taking Cars Off the Roads for 50 Years, Says StudyExit EPA Disclaimer (April 13, 2012) Scientists estimate that using light-colored surfaces on roofs and pavements in cities town could, on a global scale, increase their albedo by about 10 percent. This would offset between 130 billion and 150 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking every car in the world off the road for 50 years.

  • Md. Scientists Study Why Spring Came EarlyExit EPA Disclaimer (April 17, 2012) - Researchers at the University of Maryland Center found that the urban landscape traps heat in the summer and holds it throughout the winter, triggering leaves to turn green earlier in the spring and to stay green later into the fall.

  • On an Urban Heat Island, Zippy Red OaksExit EPA Disclaimer (April 25, 2012) – Researchers found that red oak seedlings in Central Park grow up to eight times faster than their cousins cultivated outside the city, probably because of the urban heat island effect.

March 2012

  • Bright Is The New Black: New York Roofs Go Cool (March 7, 2012) A new study of how different white roofing materials performed "in the field" in New York City over multiple years found that even the least expensive white roof coating reduced peak rooftop temperatures in summer by an average of 43°F.

  • The Humble Parking Lot Gets a Green MakeoverExit EPA Disclaimer (March 15, 2012) A new parking lot in Beamsville, Ontario in Canada has a rain garden that will improve stormwater management and help reduce the heat island effect created by large expanses of asphalt.

  • ESF’s New Building Highlighted at ConferenceExit EPA Disclaimer (March 16, 2012) The College of Environmental Science and Forestry at the State University of New York, Syracuse, is constructing a new building with multiple sustainable features, including an on-campus combined heat and power system and a 10,000 square foot green roof based on rare native plant community.

  • Rooftop Blooms Help PollinatorsExit EPA Disclaimer (March 21, 2012) A study analyzing green roofs in the UK and Switzerland found that mixed planting attracts more wildlife than a standard green roof planted with sedum. 

  • Cities on Front Line of Climate ChangeExit EPA Disclaimer (March 27, 2012) The world's cities bear the brunt of climate change, but some are taking action to both increase resilience to climate impacts and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, such as painting roofs white and planting trees to alleviate the urban heat island effect and lower energy consumption.

  • Soon More Heat Stress in Cities?Exit EPA Disclaimer (March 28, 2012) - A global study of the effects persistent heatwaves can have on cities shows that the frequency of summer heat stress could increase more sharply in cities than in the surrounding rural areas.

  • QR Code Allows Smartphone Users to Adopt a Tree in D.C.Exit EPA Disclaimer (March 28, 2012) - The District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration is piloting a project that allows residents of Washington DC to use their smartphones to scan QR codes in order to adopt a tree. Anyone who is willing to water the trees on a weekly basis from spring through the fall season will be provided with a free 10 gallon watering tub for every adopted tree.

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

  • Predicting Urban Heat Island Effects from SpaceExit EPA Disclaimer (September 29, 2011) – A new study by the European Space Agency suggests that satellite sensors can be used to detect urban heat island effects before they actually form.

  • Cool Roof Legislation Adds Jobs, Saves EnergyExit EPA Disclaimer (September 26, 2011) – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland and Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho are co-sponsoring the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act, which could mean thousands of new jobs and energy savings nationwide.

  • Can Your Green Roof Survive a Hurricane (September 26, 2011) – The experience of New York City electric utility Con Edison suggests that a well planned green roof is no more vulnerable to high winds and heavy rains than any other.

  • Central Park Dentistry in Mason City, Iowa Gets Green RoofExit EPA Disclaimer (September 20, 2011) – The green roof system offers 30 percent better cooling efficiency than a traditional roof and 10 percent more insulation, and will make the roof last three to four times longer.

August 2011

  • Green Roof Finished at Mazzoli Federal Building, KentuckyExit EPA Disclaimer (August 26, 2011) – The largest green roof in the state of Kentucky, totaling almost 27,000 square feet, was completed as part of a project to improve sustainability of the building.

  • Volunteers Paint the Town WhiteExit EPA Disclaimer (August 22, 2011) – Volunteers in New York City  painted 35,000 square feet of affordable low-income rooftops with reflective white paint, which will help to cool the buildings and generate significant energy savings.

  • Using Mist to Cool Down Urban Heat IslandExit EPA Disclaimer (August 17, 2011) – Osaka City Waterworks Bureau is experimenting a new cooling method – using mist shot out from nozzles installed on top of buildings along the street.

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

  • EPA, DC Showcase Recovery Act Funded Green Roof (September 29, 2010) – A green roof on top of the World Wildlife Fund headquarters was funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

  • Forest Service Releases National Report on Urban ForestsExit EPA Disclaimer (September 29, 2010) – The USDA Forest Service recently released a new report entitled “Sustaining America's Urban Trees and Forests”, which provides an overview of the current status and benefits of America’s urban forests, compares differences in urban forest canopy cover among regions, and presents challenges facing urban forests and their management.

  • New rule: Builders must save more treesExit EPA Disclaimer (September 28, 2010) – Charlotte’s City Council approved changes to its tree ordinance that will increase the number of trees that must be saved in commercial development and apartment complexes.

  • Homeowners use rooftop gardens to raise energy efficiencyExit EPA Disclaimer (September 26, 2010) – Some enthusiasts of eco-friendly living have transformed the roofs of their homes into green oases, creating “vegetative” or “green” roofs.

  • City of Seattle wants more eco-friendly ‘green roofs’Exit EPA Disclaimer (September 23, 2010) – Seattle city leaders released a report that inventoried the City’s 62 vegetated roofs, which cover the equivalent of nine football fields.

  • More than just a pretty roof: Ecoroofs save cashExit EPA Disclaimer (September 20, 2010 – Rooftop plants can save money, especially for businesses with large commercial buildings, because they can double the life of a roof and reduce energy and maintenance costs.

  • Sustainability is group’s taskExit EPA Disclaimer (September 10, 2010) – The Burbank Sustainability Task Force is organized into six priority groups - sustainable design, urban heat island effect, transportation, energy, zero waste, strategic communications.

  • Capturing heat islands in climate modelsExit EPA Disclaimer (September 9, 2010) – A team of scientists has incorporated urban areas into a global climate model; this development is important because most models used for predicting future climate change do not account for the urban “heat island” effect.

  • Emerald Cool Pavement Lowers Surface Heat of Asphalt in Phoenix SchoolsExit EPA Disclaimer (September 8, 2010) – Under the “Cool Schools Initiative” Emerald Cool Pavement is changing communities by donating labor and materials in the first “Solar Reflective Cool Pavement” offered for school playgrounds, beginning with the City of Scottsdale.

  • EPA selects communities for 2010 Greening America’s Capitals projectsExit EPA Disclaimer (September 8, 2010) – The U.S. EPA has selected five state capital cities to receive high-quality green development that includes cleaning up and recycling vacant lands, accessing and improving waterways, providing greater housing and transportation choices, and reducing infrastructure and energy costs.

  • Green Building: A Real Estate Revolution?Exit EPA Disclaimer (September 7, 2010) – Green building now accounts for nearly one-third of new construction in the U.S.

  • Green roofs redefine cooling plantExit EPA Disclaimer (September 1, 2010) – Researchers at Columbia University have demonstrated that a layer of plants and earth can cut the rate of heat absorption through the roof of a building in summer by 84%.

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

  • ‘Smart’ Roof Responds to Temperature, Saves EnergyExit EPA Disclaimer (March 22, 2010) – A new roof coating material made from cooking oil reflects the sun’s rays on hot days and absorbs the rays when it’s cold.

  • City studies green roof regulationsExit EPA Disclaimer (March 17, 2010) – Pittsburgh is considering legislation that would define a green roof and establish zoning height allowances for rooftop gardens.

  • County seeks Ohio EPA grant for green roofExit EPA Disclaimer (March 2, 2010) – Lake County Stormwater Management Department has applied to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for a grant to pay for an environmentally-friendly way to resurface a portion of the county’s administration building.

February 2010

January 2010

  • Made in the ShadeExit EPA Disclaimer (January 22, 2010) – The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority is helping communities to get funds from Pennsylvania’s “TreeVitalize Metro” grant program.

  • LiveRoof, LLC Contributes to ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’Exit EPA Disclaimer (January 20, 2010) – The LiveRoof brand hybrid green roof system was chosen as the planted roof on a “green” episode of the Emmy-award winning hit TV show.

  • From tar to tendrilsExit EPA Disclaimer (January 15, 2010) – Roofs across Chattanooga continue to receive “green” makeovers with the number of green roofs increasing.

  • Cool Roofs, Cool ResearchExit EPA Disclaimer (January 14, 2010) – In an attempt to address the energy used to cool cities around the world during hot weather, Hashem Akbari is developing light reflective materials for roofs and pavements.

  • New report outlines energy savings of shade treesExit EPA Disclaimer (January 11, 2010) – The addition of 100,000 trees over a decade could reduce annual energy demands by about 14,000 megawatt-hours annually in the Phoenix area, according to the report.

  • D.C. heat stagnates Baltimore’s airExit EPA Disclaimer (January 8, 2010) – Hot air rises off capital’s buildings and pavement, blows north and gets trapped in Baltimore.

  • Ecosystem, Vegetation Affect Intensity of Urban Heat Island EffectExit EPA Disclaimer (January 5, 2010) – NASA researchers studying urban landscapes have found that the intensity of the “heat island” created by a city depends on the ecosystem it replaced and on the regional climate.

December 2009

November 2009

  • Farm grows plants for 'green roofs'Exit EPA Disclaimer (November 29, 2009) – A local farm that grows plants for green roofs has seen as much as a 70 percent rise in sales in the past five years, reflecting a growing national interest in green roofs.

  • City Pursues Eco-InitiativesExit EPA Disclaimer (November 28, 2009) – The City of Beloit, Wisconsin began its environmentally friendly program when the City Council unanimously approved a resolution in December of 2007 adopting the Eco-Municipality Sustainable Guidelines for the city.

  • Report: AZ's 61% increase in CO2 is the nation's worstExit EPA Disclaimer (November 18, 2009) – A new report says that in the Southwest, temperatures have climbed faster than the national average in recent decades, partly due to global warming and partly due to the heat island effect.

  • The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a WallExit EPA Disclaimer (November 18, 2009) – Some companies are installing edible walls to add to the benefits of vertical gardens by producing food.

  • Willis Tower looks to go green, from the rooftops on downExit EPA Disclaimer (November 1, 2009) – The Willis Tower in Chicago utilizes a green roof to lower energy costs and offset water runoff.

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

  • London ‘needs two million trees’Exit EPA Disclaimer (July 30, 2009) – An extra two million trees should be planted in London to combat rising temperatures, Mayor Boris Johnson’s environment plan has suggested.

  • White Roofs Catch on as Energy Cost CuttersExit EPA Disclaimer (July 30, 2009) – A white roof can cost as little as 15 percent more than its dark counterpart, depending on the materials used, while slashing electricity bills.

  • USPS Unveils NYC’s Biggest Green RoofExit EPA Disclaimer (July 27, 2009) – Aimed at saving energy and reducing pollution runoff, the U.S. Postal Service has unveiled its first and New York City’s largest green roof.

  • Look, Up in the Sky: Green RoofsExit EPA Disclaimer (July 27, 2009) – Baltimore is emerging as one of the nation’s greener roofed cities, with approximately 150,000 square feet added last year.

  • Paint the Town WhiteExit EPA Disclaimer (July 17, 2009) – Replacing dark roofing and pavement with lighter, more reflective materials could reduce temperatures in cities and offset significant quantities of carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Reflective Roof Paint Repels the HeatExit EPA Disclaimer (July 15, 2009) – Hyperseal paints can reduce the costs and energy needed for cooling by lowering the amount of heat a building absorbs from the sun.

June 2009

May 2009

  • Energy Chief Steven Chu Joins Phoenix Mayor’s Push for White RoofsExit EPA Disclaimer (May 27, 2009) – Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu are on the same page when it comes to reducing urban heat islands and energy consumption.

  • Obama’s Climate Guru: Paint Your Roof White!Exit EPA Disclaimer (May 27, 2009) – Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy, has encouraged making roofs and pavements white or light-colored to help reduce global warming by both conserving energy and reflecting sunlight back into space.

  • Toronto Adopts “Green Roof” RequirementsExit EPA Disclaimer (May 27, 2009) – Toronto’s city council passed a new bylaw setting minimum “green roof” requirements on all classes of new buildings.

  • Looking at Europe’s Green WaysExit EPA Disclaimer (May 24, 2009) – U.S. leaders are looking abroad for guidance in developing green building and energy saving techniques such as green roofs.

  • Greening BaseballExit EPA Disclaimer (May 22, 2009) – Various Major League Baseball stadiums are taking steps to reduce energy consumption, extend recycling efforts, and take the first steps into renewable energy.

  • U.S. Green Roof Industry Grows By 35 Percent in 2008 (PDF) (1p, 33k)Exit EPA Disclaimer (May 20, 2009) – Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conducted a survey of green roofs projects which indicates a U.S. growth rate of more than 35 percent over 2007, representing more than 3.1 million square feet installed in 2008.

  • Council to Consider New Tree RulesExit EPA Disclaimer (May 14, 2009) – The Austin City Council is considering proposed rules that would require tree plantings and preservation.

  • Cities to Sizzle as Islands of HeatExit EPA Disclaimer (May 10, 2009) – London and other cities could see summer temperatures rise to more than 10°C above those in the surrounding countryside, according to research being used to help devise the first official climate change map of Britain.

April 2009

March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
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