Many cities across the country have been adversely affected due to a phenomenon known as ‘urban heat islands’.
Urban areas have been more affected in comparison to rural areas due to this weather phenomenon.
Delhi and its surrounding areas witnessed high temperature, reaching almost 50 degree Celsius across different parts.
In comparison, areas beyond the city limits did not witness such high temperatures. This was a direct result of urban heat island.
Urban heat island phenomenon
It is a phenomenon in which certain pockets within a city witness higher heat load than surrounding or neighbouring areas on the same day.
These variations can be experienced due to heat remaining trapped within locations that often resemble concrete jungles. Temperatures can vary between 3 to 5 degree Celsius.
High temperature in cities
Rural areas have green cover in the form of plantations, farmlands, forests and trees as compared to urban regions.
Green areas regulate heat through process known as transpiration, which involves releasing it in the form of water vapour.
Urban areas do not have enough green cover to regulate heat. As a result, natural temperature regulation is almost absent.
Cities are made up of materials such as glass, concrete and metals, which are absorbers of heat. Thus, heat remains trapped and form heat islands.
Reducing urban heat islands
Increasing green cover by planting trees in open spaces is the best way to reduce urban heat islands.
Another way is to use materials and colours that reflect light. Terrace garden have to be developed in all households.
Nighttime temperatures around Delhi and surrounding cities were higher than the nearby rural areas.
This was attributed to heat island effect. The difference between temperatures was as high as 20 degree Celsius.