Sunday, June 23, 2013

New urban heat island videos from The Weather Channel

In Urban heat island video for my class I noted that The Weather Channel's Science Behind Urban Heat "almost does a better job of showing the growth of cities and urban population in the U.S. than it does explaining urban heat islands."  I then wrote that "I might just use it for the former, then remind the students about it during the latter.  I'll see what I think about it right after July 4th, when I'm planning on giving the urbanization lecture."  It turns out that The Weather Channel has made the decision for me, posting two videos that explain urban heat island much better than the one they posted earlier this month, which I'll use to illustrate the effects of urbanization on the environment during that lecture.

Here's the first, The Urban Heat Island Explained.

The Weather Channel meteorologist Mark Elliot explains why cities are usually warmer than the suburbs.
This video concentrates on exactly the aspects of the urban heat island as an example of a microclimate that I emphasize in my lectures--the causes, the effects on nighttime temperatures, the increase in thunderstorms, and the differences between the temperatures of the city and the surrounding suburbs and countryside.  My only complaint is the low resolution, which won't look good on a big screen.

I may or may not show the second video, Reducing the Urban Heat Island, because climate is usually the last lecture, and I tend to run out of time, but I'll see.

Researchers are working to find ways to reduce what is known as Urban Heat Island. That happens when a metropolitan area is significantly warmer than it's suburbs due to human causes.
On the one hand, this has the same low resolution as the previous video, which makes it less likely for me to use it.  On the other hand, it does a good job of bringing in the esthetics of urban areas as well as connecting heat to ozone production.  Since I cover air pollution in the same lecture as I do microclimates, that makes this video worth showing to my classes.  Here's to hoping I make the time to do so.

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