Urban ‘heat islands’ double costs for climate change

Urban ‘heat islands’ double costs for climate change.
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The analysis of 1,692 cities, published today (Monday 29 May 2017) in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that the total economic costs of climate change for cities this century could be 2.6 times higher when heat island effects are taken into account than when they are not.
Also according to the report, the authors noted that the study is significant because it highlights the importance of adopting local interventions along worldwide policies to keep global warming effects at bay.
Potential costs include more energy for cooling, increased air and water pollution, and lower worker productivity, the researchers said.
“We show that city-level adaptation strategies to limit local warming have important economic net benefits for nearly all cities around the world”, said Tol.
No surprise there.
Something not noted by the new study, though, is that as temperatures in these cities rise, so too will the rates of many infectious diseases – which will itself lead to greatly increased costs in some regards.
Cost-efficient local policies such as cool pavements – created to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat – cool and green roofs and expanding vegetation in cities could limit the high economic and health costs of rising urban temperatures and help combat the urban heat island.
By the new study’s estimates, using such an approach to transition around a fifth of a large city’s pavements and roofs to cooler/lighter options could cut a city’s ambient air temperatures by up to 1.4° Fahrenheit (0.8° Celsius).

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