Question-1: What are Urban heat islands? Explain the occurrence of this phenomenon. Suggest measures to prevent formation of urban heat islands.
Answer: Urban heat island is a phenomenon in which certain pockets within a city witness higher heat load than the surrounding or neighbouring areas on the same day.The phenomenon has increasingly been observed in countries such as India, which is rapidly urbanizing.
Occurrence of urban heat islands
- Concrete jungles
Cities are turning into concrete jungles with rapid expansion of structures made up of cement. Cement is an absorber of heat, which raises surrounding temperature.
- Stone, glass and metal
Materials used in construction of buildings such as stones, glass and metal are darkly painted. This makes them great heat absorbers.
- Lack of green cover
Rapid construction spree has caused depletion in green cover. Cities have been devoid of plants or trees, making them vulnerable to temperature rise.
Measures to prevent
- Urban forests
The concept of urban forest involves developing small forested area within city limits. Trees have the potential to decrease temperature through transpiration.
- Household gardens
Every household need to create gardens on terrace or in the vicinity of the house. This has the ability to reduce the temperature by 2-5 degrees Celsius.
Thus, urban heat islands not only effect human health but raises power consumption. This further increases our carbon footprint.
Tags: GS 3 ( Environment)
By – Raghunandan