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Watch: We Explore Heat Islands Around Nashville, Tennessee

Illustration of a data trace over the skyline of Nashville

Have you noticed more greenery such as grass and trees planted around—and even on top of—new buildings in urban areas? Engineers and architects are leading these efforts to help combat a scientific phenomenon called the heat island. 

Put simply, heat islands are urban areas that re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural areas such as forests. Heat islands increase energy consumption, elevate emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, impair water quality, and compromise the health and comfort of the people who live nearby. Combating this phenomenon is a big focus for environmental engineers, government officials, and communities. 

To help introduce your students to the phenomenon of heat islands and how it relates to climate science, our STEM Training Director David Carter conducted an experiment using the Go Direct® Temperature Probe to investigate the temperature differences between a less populated area outside of Nashville, Tennessee, and the city’s center.

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