All You Need To Know About Urban Heat Island (UHI) Phenomena

October 4, 2020 By Kaustubh Kulkarni

An urban heat islands phenomena is an urban or a metropolitan area that is markedly hotter than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. This happens because all the solar radiations received by the urban areas gets trapped within the surrounding & mess up with average temperature of the human habitat. Hence the ecosystem suffers a lot of heat which causes animals, birds, insects along with humans to suffer.


There are several causes which develop an urban heat island effect like; dark surfaces that absorb strikingly more radiations, which causes heavy concentrations of man-made constructed sites to heat up more than rural & suburban areas during the daytime.Materials like concrete and asphalt commonly used in urban areas for pavement and roofs, have different thermal bulk conduction properties which misbalances the average temperature considering all the surrounding rural areas.

Unnecessary heavy heat generated by energy consumption is a major contributor. As the population densifies, UHI area expands & pushes the average temperature above to a concernful level due to these actively playing factors. It is also a major cause of compromise in air quality & the sudden rise in the pollutants level such as ozone, deduction in water quality as warmer waters flows into mid & outer area streams in turn putting a great deal of stress on their respective ecosystems.

Another major reason is the cities which are constantly losing out on the trees & vegetations which allows heat to stay on & take shelter in various man-constructed buildings & premises. The major problem with them is they hardly reflect back any amount of heat which again becomes a major contributor that creates the perfect surroundings for UHI to develop.

How To Mitigate UHI:

To fight this off constantly, we need to take certain steps and watch over our own shoulders that we are doing what’s needful. First things first, we need to plant more and more trees which will reflect much of the heat that comes from the sun & keeps their low lying areas cooler and safer for every specie to survive & thrive. Along with that it also helps in reducing air pollution which also plays a role in increasing urban heat.


Secondly, we need to make some changes to our already built structures by installing heat reflectors like mirrors/glasses or absorbers like solar panels so that we can put this heavy amount of solar energy to a good use. Although it is not quite possible for everyone to make these kind of changes in which one should always opt to color their roof, ceiling & Floor of the terrace with white color. This will also help us in reflecting all the sun rays back to the upper atmosphere. 

Also, on a commercial & industrial level, one should opt for painting their structures with light shades on all five sides, so it avoids trapping the sun rays & the heat gets reflected back into the outer atmosphere. 


In The End

Summing up all the jist of conclusion; every individual should do his/her part to bring about the revolutionary change at an individual level or as a community. Like planting more trees, get your 4 walls & ceiling painted white from inside & outside. And also, come up with newer ways to bring down the heat level on every individual, domestic as well as global scale. 

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