|United Nations research suggests there will be 37 megacities by 2025. Source: Guardian Interactive.|
People, buildings and industry are densely packed in cities. Heat gets trapped, meaning the ambient temperature is often higher than the immediate surroundings. This is known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, and scientists expect it to intensify as the climate warms further.
Not all towns and cities are the same. Research by Bin Zhou from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research finds the summer UHI effect is closely related to the size of the city. But other factors such as the layout, how much vegetation exists and the proximity of the city to the sea (where breezes have a cooling effect) all affect how big the UHI is, other research suggests.
By Roz Pidcock
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