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So Hot That We Can See Those Urban Heat Islands From Space

Jo Nova

New satellite images taken by NASA during the June heatwave show how the central core of European cities is much hotter than the surrounding natural landscape due to the urban heat island effect.

EU heat Map - Madrid
The NASA Ecostress map for Paris   | Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

During the June heatwaves in Europe NASA was studying the “Ecostress” of various cities.

The heat coming off Charles De Gaulle’s runways is easily visible from space. (As are all the other ideal locations for putting climate change thermometers.)

Hands up who thinks thermometers in 1880 were reading too warm? Anyone…

The shots were taken in the early morning:

They show how the central core of each city is much hotter than the surrounding natural landscape due to the urban heat island effect – a result of urban surfaces storing and re-radiating heat throughout the day.

The fact that surface temperatures were as high as 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius) in the early morning indicates that much of the heat from previous days was stored by surfaces with high heat capacity (such as asphalt, concrete and water bodies) and unable to dissipate before the next day. The trapped heat resulted in even higher midday temperatures, in the high 40s (Celsius) in some places, as the heat wave continued.

So these heat sinks have had all night to lose their extra heat yet here they are still radiating. Even at lunch time the next day.

EU heat Map - Madrid
Rome- Ecostress Heat map  |   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Nice of them to mark the airports.

See Milan and Madrid below.

EU heat Map - Madrid
Milan – Ecostress Heat map    |   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

EU heat Map - Madrid
Madrid – Ecostress Heat map  |   Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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