Urban areas can be 20 degrees hotter than the surrounding country. But green spaces and reflective pavement can make city life more bearable.
If you’ve ever driven from the country into the city and marveled at how the temperature dramatically spiked, you’ve felt the urban heat island effect. The streets and buildings of a metropolis absorb the sun’s energy during the day and gradually release it at night. The built environment essentially bakes itself, and temperatures can soar as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the surrounding country, which benefits from swaths of trees that “sweat,” releasing water vapor and cooling the air.
As global temperatures rapidly climb, scientists, governments,
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