How much of the heat can we blame on the heat island?
Climate change is clearly evident but also complex. So, while the scientific verification continues to accumulate, there are still questions about precisely how much impact various factors have on creating and/or intensifying changing climate conditions — especially when it comes to rising heat. Research points to the urban heat island effect brought on by increasing amounts of concrete and asphalt being used as urban areas grow. Greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere — mostly by burning fossil fuels — are also a major source of higher temperatures. Whatever the case, Fulton Schools Professor Patrick Phelan says reducing energy usage of is one solution to the urban heat buildup. Phelan directs a partnership involving a U.S. Department of Energy project and ASU’s Industrial Assessment Center to train engineering students to evaluate how manufacturing companies could improve the efficiency of their machinery to reduce energy usage. (Access to the full content of the Arizona Republic online is available only to subscribers.)