NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) — New Yorkers should brace themselves for more frequent and more intense heat waves in the future, climate scientists say.
Temperatures like those baking the city this month are likely to continue, and their effects will be particularly felt in densely built urban environments like Manhattan, a City College of New York release said Wednesday.
Overnight temperatures during a recent heat wave were 10 to 15 degrees lower in outlying suburban areas than in Manhattan, CCNY researchers say.
“Manhattan is subject to an urban heat island effect because its physical landscape is significantly different from the surrounding suburbs,” Jorge Gonzalez of CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering said. “This makes heat waves here more intense because Manhattan cannot cool off as readily as outlying areas.”
High temperatures do not dissipate as quickly in Manhattan as in other areas because of the large amount of stored energy contained in its massive buildings, Gonzalez said.
“While surrounding suburban and green areas may perceive the same maximum temperatures,” he said, “the built regions will perceive them for longer periods of time.”
Factors exacerbating the urban heat island effect include energy demand, air quality, asphalt surfaces and exhaust fumes, the CCNY release said.
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