Urban areas are warmer than nearby rural areas, researchers already knew it, however, they didn’t know how to control the rising temperature in urban areas. A new study by NASA believes that it has found the solution and says that vegetative coverage or plantation along roadsides, in wooded neighborhoods or in parks can curb the temperature in urban region, also known as urban heating effect.
Studies have found that urban regions are 1 to 3 degrees Celsius warmer when compared to adjacent rural or semi-rural areas. The phenomenon is known as urban heat island effect. Previous studies have explained that the rise in heat is due to materials like concrete, stone and steel that can absorb heat resulting in a temperature rise.
For the study, NASA scientists took the help of satellite imaging and modeled urban areas along with surroundings. Researchers were astonished to see the lack of plantation in the cities. They found that urban areas were 1.9 degree Celsius warmer while they were 1.5 degree Celsius warmer in winters when compared to surrounding rural areas.
Lead researcher Lahouari Bounoua, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in US. said that the rise in temperature isn’t due to greenhouse gases in urban areas, but the scarcity of vegetation plays a big role in how much the urbanization changes the temperature.
Researchers also raised the issue that with rise in every 1 degree Celsius, more energy is required to lower the room temperature. Thus, people tend to run air conditioners at lower temperature in summers ending up consuming more energy. With the growing energy demand pressure on environment increases as greenhouse gas emission increases which adds up in increasing environment temperature.
While explaining researchers said that during photosynthesis plants emit water molecules as byproduct which it releases in atmosphere keeping a check on rising mercury. Since, rural areas has more vegetation cover, temperature is lower there. To control temperature in urban areas we need to plant more trees.
Moreover, scientists warned that plantations in urban areas are must and every citizen along with the government should come up and contribute in planting trees and make your environment cooler.