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Heat Island Effect

Conference Call/Webcast Presentations, October 2005

Heat Island Reduction Initiative (HIRI) Graphic Depicting Heat Island Curve and HIRI Logo




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Overview of NASA's Air Quality Modeling Project in Atlanta

Presentation by Dr. Dale Quattrochi - Senior Research Scientist with NASA

Dr. Dale Quattrochi, Senior Research Scientist with NASA, Maury Estes, Assistant Director, Earth System Science Program, and Dr. Bill Crosson, Global Hydrology and Climate Center, joined the call to discuss how using higher resolution land cover/land use data has impacted their meteorological and urban air quality modeling results in Atlanta. The objectives of their study include:

  • characterizing urbanization extent and rate of change
  • describing the urban heat island effect
  • incorporating urbanization in meteorological and air quality
  • modeling, and
  • modeling the results

NASA's findings indicate that the high-resolution data characterized land use in metropolitan Atlanta more accurately than the traditional USGS land use data set, improved the meteorological model's performance, and facilitated the application of the Spatial Growth Model. On the air quality side, the researchers found that ozone results (running CMAQ) are not very sensitive to the choice of landuse data. NASA's research in Atlanta began in 1996 with Project ATLANTA Exit EPA Disclaimer (ATlanta Land-use ANalysis: Temperature and Air-quality).

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Beating the Heat from Urban Runoff

Presentation by Don Waye - US EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds

Don Waye, US EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, discussed the impacts that heated stormwater runoff has on aquatic life and highlighted the low-impact development practices that communities can take to address heat pollution. Waye's presentation demonstrated that as urbanization replaces and paves over forests and farmland, less rainwater is absorbed by the ground, leaving more to flows into streams and open water bodies during storms. Waye found that stream temperatures could be 8 degrees F higher in less than an hour after summer storms. Although heat pollution is real and measurable, has impacts on the ecosystem, and is addressed by the Clean Water Act, it is not well regulated. Waye recommended research needs and mitigation strategies including reducing imperviousness where possible, restoring and maintaining vegetated riparian zones, and restoring pools and riffles in degraded streams.

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Austin Energy's Cool Roof Rebate Program

Presentation by Dr. Norman Muraya - Austin Energy

Dr. Norman Muraya of Austin Energy Exit EPA Disclaimer presented on the utility's cool roof incentive program. Austin Energy promotes reflective roof products as a cost-effective and low-risk way to reduce cooling loads and peak demand. The utility also believes cool roofs can improve the environment by lowering smog concentrations and can promote economic development. Cool roofs work by reflecting most of the sun's energy, reducing heat gain to the inside of the building.

Muraya said that Austin Energy customers are eligible for the $.10/square foot rebate if the cool roof has a minimum reflectivity of 75%, and the project passes a cost-benefit analysis.

At the time of final inspection, the customer must provide: 1) an invoice, 2) warranty statements, and 3) the manufacturer’s product information.

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Call Participants:

Hashem Akbari, LBNL

Vic Ayres, City of Houston

Drew Ballensky, Duro-last

Ryan Bell, ICLEI

Dave Bier, Futurity, Inc.

Marion Clark, Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission

David Cole, EPA

Jennifer Cox, Regional Plan Association

Rob Crauderueff, Sustainable South Bronx

Brendan Daley, City of Chicago

Kathy Diehl, EPA R9

Kevin Foley, Sarnafil Inc.

Connie Gallippi, Sacramento Tree Foundation

Jay Golden, Arizona State University

Rosalie Green, EPA

Lucie Griggs, Cool Communities

Jose Gutierrez, City of Los Angeles

John Hadalski, Philadelphia Water Department

Dudley R Hartel, Southern Center for Urban Forestry Research & Information

Gordon Heisler, USDA Forest Service

David Hitchcock, Houston Advanced Research Center

Vinnie Hunt, City of Tucson

Mark K Johnston, Futurity, Inc.

Stephen Keach, Perrin Quarles and Associates

Gordon Kenna, Cool Communities

Jeffrey King, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

Cheryl Kortemeier, Trees Atlanta

Cynthia Lee, Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District

Edward Linky, EPA R2

Howard Marks, National Asphalt Pavement Association

Maury Estes, NASA

Michele Musselman, RI Department of Environmental Management

Irene Ogata, City of Tucson

Justina Parsons-Bernstein, TreeUtah

Dale Quattrochi, NASA

Liz Robinson, Energy Coordinating Agency

Joyce Rosenthal, Columbia University

David Sailor, Portland State University

Peter Savio, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Kathy Sykes, EPA

Harold Taft, Alabama Forestry Commission

Haider Taha, AltoStratus

Brigette Tollstrup, Sacramento Air Quality Management District

Ashwani Vasishth, California State University

Linda Velazquez, Greenroofs.com

Eva Wong, EPA

James Yarbrough, EPA R6

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