Satellite Remote Sensing for Measuring Urban Heat Islands and Constructing Heat Vulnerability Indices

Structures such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes such as forests and water bodies. Urban areas, where these structures are highly concentrated and greenery is limited, become “islands” of higher temperatures relative to outlying areas. These pockets of heat are referred to as “heat islands.” The rapid growth of urban populations, the urban heat island effect, and increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves due to climate change, raise a series of issues about the increased health risks of sensitive urban populations to extreme heat and the effective means of mitigating the impacts of heat waves.

Remote sensing provides global, timely, objective observations to monitor the effects of urban heat islands (UHI) over time. Thermal mapping from satellites can be used to monitor land surface temperature (LST), while optical data collected from satellites can inform where and when land use and land cover have changed over time and can be used to approximate air temperatures. Once UHIs have been mapped, incorporating socioeconomic data pertaining to population, demographics, and health information into heat vulnerability indices (HVI) can help guide interventions to manage heat related risks to public health. This four-part, advanced webinar will build on ARSET’s urban heat island training held in November 2020 with hands-on exercises for participants to measure UHI and construct HVIs for their areas of interest.

This webinar series is a collaboration between NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET) and the National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS).

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:
• Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Course Dates: August 2, 4, 9, & 11, 2022

Times: 11:00-12:30 or 15:00-16:30 EDT (UTC-4); There will be identical sessions at two different times of the day. Participants need only to register and attend one daily session.