As Heat Islands Worsen In Baltimore, Local Composting Can Relieve It
The urban heat island effect emerges when the temperature in a metropolitan area is significantly hotter than in surrounding areas. Heat islands are largely a result of urban development, where materials like concrete and asphalt replace natural vegetation. In a city’s concrete jungle, materials found in buildings, roads, and sidewalks absorb the sun’s heat and emit it back into the air, raising the surrounding surface and ambient temperatures. Waste heat generated from vehicles, industrial facilities, and other human sources also add to the higher temperatures, leading to greater emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses. Urban heat islands pose a serious public health threat to those living in these zones―often people of color, low-income communities, and vulnerable age groups.