Urban Heat Island Effect in the Puget Sound

Urban Heat Island Effect in the Puget Sound: Adaptation and Biomimetic Strategies to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Thesis and Presentation in the International Climate Change Conference, Fall 2011 – June 2012

In Collaboration with: Jan Whittington and Robert Mugerauer

An urban heat island is a reverse oasis where cities’ air and surface temperatures are hotter than their rural surroundings. The reverse oasis can be seen in urban areas throughout the world. It can create health consequences like heat stroke, respiratory problems, and damage to ecosystems. This paper will explore the affect of climate change on the urban heat island effect within the Puget Sound region of Washington state. My research focuses on three cities: Seattle, Everett, and Snoqualmie. These cities exemplify large, medium, and small urban landscapes. I focus my research around the following questions. How has, and will, climate change impact the urban heat island (UHI) effect? What are some tools and strategies to mitigate these effects? I compare the UHI effects between the three city scales and begin to explore current, new, and biomimetic adaptation strategies to mitigate UHI effects in the face of climate change.

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