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  Jun 24, 2020


What is Heat Island effect?

An urban heat island, or UHI, is a metropolitan area that experiences higher temperature than the rural areas surrounding it.

What are the reasons?

The study titled ‘Anthropogenic forcing exacerbating the urban heat islands in India’ (published in the international Elsevier publication Journal of Environmental Management). “The key finding in the study is the role of anthropogenic activities in increasing the urban temperature in India,”. Research has pointed the other reason towards blocking of air passages and wind channels by haphazard development and aerosols in the city’s air. These aerosols are acting like a blanket. At night, they don’t allow the heat to radiate. The heat gets trapped and accumulates, resulting in higher temperatures.

Other Reasons are like concrete buildings and vehicles.

Why It is a matter of Worry?

The ‘heat island effect’ in the major Indian cities has shot up by at least one degree in the past 17 years due to land use changes and increase in anthropogenic pressures. Approximately a third of the total population in India lived in cities in 2018 and by 2040 more than half of the population will be urbanised. So UHI will keep on increasing.

What are the ill effects of UHI?

  1. Climatic change - Excessive changes in the heat and rainfall pattern.
  2. Higher pollution levels
  3. Biohazards as result of heat waves and heat related effects
  4. Energy demand - Increased power consumption
  5. More Finance -  to tackle global warming as Urban heat contributes to 30% increase in the global warming.
  6. It also increases the temperature of the water ecosystem, which affects the metabolic and reproductive capacities of those marine organisms.