Climate change and urban development leading to warmer nights in Phoenix,
Urban growth is propelling the trend of rising temperatures in the U.S. Southwest and increasing climate stresses on people and the region’s desert environments, says Ariane Middel, a Fulton Schools assistant professor who also works in ASU’s Urban Climate Research Center. Phoenix is among the country’s fastest-warming cities, in large part as a result of so-called urban heat islands caused mostly by construction of new roads, buildings and other facilities and structures that store heat in the day and release it at night. Because of that phenomenon, the metropolitan area is seeing its highest nighttime temperatures ever. The continuing amplification of heat is challenging communities to find ways to preserve their livability, Middel says.
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