How Cities Affect Their Local Climate

Todd Ensign, NASA IV&V Facility ERC,
Kevin Czajkowski, University of Toledo,
Mikell Lynne Hedley, University of Toledo,
Xiangfeng Meng, Ocean University of China,
David Smith, University of Redlands,
Betsy Youngman,, contributor
Carla McAuliffe, Center for Science Teaching and Learning at TERC,, contributor

Published: May 2010. Last updated: May 2011.


Note: This chapter was retired in October 2018. The visualization tool (My World GIS) is no longer supported.
US Cities on My World GIS image showing U.S. Cities overlaid onto averaged MODIS Land Surface Temperature for the corresponding period of December 2008.

In this chapter, you will explore the urban heat island effect with My World GISTM and GLOBE Program surface temperature student data. After downloading and mapping GLOBE surface temperature data, you will gather statistics and examine spatial relationships between the GLOBE surface temperature data and cities that have a population greater than 50,000 people. Last, you will compare urban and rural school sites around Toledo, Ohio to discover how land cover and land use affect surface temperature.

This chapter is part of the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Each chapter provides teachers and/or students with direct practice for using scientific tools to analyze Earth science data. Students should begin on the Case Study page.

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