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Hu, L. Q., Wilhelmi, O. V., & Uejio, C. (2019). Assessment of heat exposure in cities: Combining the dynamics of temperature and population.
Science of the Total Environment
Urban populations are typically subject to higher outdoor heat exposure than nearby rural areas due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect. Excessive Heat Events (EHEs) further amplify heat stress imposed on city dwellers. Heat exposure largely depends on the spatial and temporal distribution of temperature and population, however, few studies considered their concurrent variations. To better characterize exposure to heat in the context of long-term urban climatology and during excessive heat events, this study focuses on the dynamics of ambient temperature and population and proposes an open-data-based approach for spatiotemporal analysis of urban exposure to heat by using air temperature estimated from satellite observations and commute-adjusted diurnal population calculated primarily on the Census Transportation Planning Products. We use the metropolitan area of Chicago, U.S.A. as a case study to analyze the urban heat pattern changes during EHEs and their influence on population heat exposure diurnally. The intra-urban spatiotemporal analysis reveals that the population's exposure to heat changes fast as the nighttime temperature increases and the EHEs increase the spatial exposure impact due to the ubiquitous higher nocturnal temperature over the Chicago metropolitan area. “Hotspots” associated with a higher temperature and greater number of urban residents are identified in the heat exposure map. Meanwhile, the spatial extent of high ambient exposure areas varies diurnally. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the dynamic heat exposure patterns in urban areas. The approaches presented in this article can be used for informing heat mitigation as well as emergency response strategies at specific times and locations.
Urban heat island
Excessive heat events
Satellite remote sensing
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