Climate Change Will Be Worse for Big Cities

Blame it on the urban heat island effect.

June 4, 2017, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Los Angeles Downtown River

shalunts / Shutterstock

"The economic impacts of climate change are almost three times higher in large cities like Los Angeles," reports Emily Guerin.

Guerin is sharing findings of a new study published in Nature Climate Change, titled "A global economic assessment of city policies to reduce climate change impacts."

The effects of climate change are exacerbated by the heat island effect: "a phenomenon in which paved surfaces and buildings absorb and radiate heat causing temperatures in cities to climb as much as 19˚F." According to the study's authors, previous studies "overlooked the fact that cities create their own, hotter climates."

In cities like Los Angeles, that means hotter days, occurring more frequently. "In Los Angeles, the number of days that downtown temperatures break 95 degrees is expected to triple by 2050," writes Gurein.

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