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Weatherwise -- May-June 2015

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Hot Bodies: Warm Cities

Anyone who's ever felt the temperature rise in a cold theater after it fills with people understands that crowds are hot. Apparently, they are even hot enough to amplify the urban heat island effect. The heat island effect, in which urban areas are measurably hotter than surrounding natural landscapes, has been attributed to the absorption of solar radiation by built surfaces such as pavement and buildings. But according to researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the presence of human beings is also a contributing factor. To quantify the urban heat island effect in Harbin City in Northeast China, researchers analyzed the differences between average daily mean, minimum, and maximum temperatures in the city and surrounding rural areas.

 

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