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Phoenix Regional Heat Mitigation, Planning, and Response Research


Date Range
1987 2017

This research evaluates the climatic summertime representation of the diurnal cycle of near-surface temperature using the Weather Research and Forecasting System (WRF) over the rapidly urbanizing and water-vulnerable Phoenix metropolitan area. A suite of monthly, high-resolution (2 km grid spacing) simulations are conducted during the month of July with both a contemporary landscape and a hypothetical presettlement scenario. WRF demonstrates excellent agreement in the representation of the daily to monthly diurnal cycle of near-surface temperatures, including the accurate simulation of maximum daytime temperature timing. Thermal sensitivity to anthropogenic land use and land cover change (LULCC), assessed via replacement of the ...

Contributors
Georgescu, M., Moustaoui, M., Mahalov, A., et al.
Created Date
2011-12-11

Preventing heat-associated morbidity and mortality is a public health priority in Maricopa County, Arizona (United States). The objective of this project was to evaluate Maricopa County cooling centers and gain insight into their capacity to provide relief for the public during extreme heat events. During the summer of 2014, 53 cooling centers were evaluated to assess facility and visitor characteristics. Maricopa County staff collected data by directly observing daily operations and by surveying managers and visitors. The cooling centers in Maricopa County were often housed within community, senior, or religious centers, which offered various services for at least 1500 individuals ...

Contributors
Berisha, Vjollca, Hondula, David, Roach, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2016-09-23

Evaluation of built environment energy demand is necessary in light of global projections of urban expansion. Of particular concern are rapidly expanding urban areas in environments where consumption requirements for cooling are excessive. Here, we simulate urban air conditioning (AC) electric consumption for several extreme heat events during summertime over a semiarid metropolitan area with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled to a multilayer building energy scheme. Observed total load values obtained from an electric utility company were split into two parts, one linked to meteorology (i.e., AC consumption) which was compared to WRF simulations, and another to ...

Contributors
Salamanca, F., Georgescu, M., Mahalov, A., et al.
Created Date
2013-08-29

Maricopa County, Arizona, anchor to the fastest growing megapolitan area in the United States, is located in a hot desert climate where extreme temperatures are associated with elevated risk of mortality. Continued urbanization in the region will impact atmospheric temperatures and, as a result, potentially affect human health. We aimed to quantify the number of excess deaths attributable to heat in Maricopa County based on three future urbanization and adaptation scenarios and multiple exposure variables. Two scenarios (low and high growth projections) represent the maximum possible uncertainty range associated with urbanization in central Arizona, and a third represents the adaptation ...

Contributors
Hondula, David M., Georgescu, Matei, Balling, Jr., Robert C.
Created Date
2014-04-28

ASU faculty and students share research at Phoenix City Hall regarding urban heat, including causes, consequences, and potential solutions. Video accessible at: https://youtu.be/8B-OkgioQ4E

Contributors
ASU
Created Date
2017-09-29

We conducted microclimate simulations in ENVI-Met 3.1 to evaluate the impact of vegetation in lowering temperatures during an extreme heat event in an urban core neighborhood park in Phoenix, Arizona. We predicted air and surface temperatures under two different vegetation regimes: existing conditions representative of Phoenix urban core neighborhoods, and a proposed scenario informed by principles of landscape design and architecture and Urban Heat Island mitigation strategies. We found significant potential air and surface temperature reductions between representative and proposed vegetation scenarios: 1) a Park Cool Island effect that extended to non-vegetated surfaces; 2) a net cooling of air underneath ...

Contributors
Declet-Barreto, Juan, Brazel, Anthony J., Martin, Chris A., et al.
Created Date
2012-12-21

We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in June mean minimum temperatures for weather stations in and around metropolitan Phoenix, USA, for the period 1990 to 2004. Temperature was related to synoptic conditions, location in urban development zones (DZs), and the pace of housing construction in a 1 km buffer around fixed-point temperature stations. June is typically clear and calm, and dominated by a dry, tropical air mass with little change in minimum temperature from day to day. However, a dry, moderate weather type accounted for a large portion of the inter-annual variability in mean monthly minimum temperature. Significant temperature ...

Contributors
Brazel, Anthony, Gober, Patricia, Lee, Seung-Jae, et al.
Created Date
2007-02-22

We have applied a standardized procedure to develop a national database of seasonally and diurnally varying anthropogenic heating profiles for 61 of the largest cities in the United Stated (U.S.).

Contributors
Sailor, David J., Georgescu, Matei, Milne, Jeffrey M., et al.
Created Date
2015-07-17

This study examines the impact of spatial landscape configuration (e.g., clustered, dispersed) on land-surface temperatures (LST) over Phoenix, Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. We classified detailed land-cover types via object-based image analysis (OBIA) using Geoeye-1 at 3-m resolution (Las Vegas) and QuickBird at 2.4-m resolution (Phoenix). Spatial autocorrelation (local Moran’s I ) was then used to test for spatial dependence and to determine how clustered or dispersed points were arranged. Next, we used Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data acquired over Phoenix (daytime on 10 June and nighttime on 17 October 2011) and Las Vegas (daytime ...

Contributors
Myint, Soe Win, Zheng, Baojuan, Talen, Emily, et al.
Created Date
2015-06-29

Engineered pavements cover a large fraction of cities and offer significant potential for urban heat island mitigation. Though rapidly increasing research efforts have been devoted to the study of pavement materials, thermal interactions between buildings and the ambient environment are mostly neglected. In this study, numerical models featuring a realistic representation of building-environment thermal interactions, were applied to quantify the effect of pavements on the urban thermal environment at multiple scales. It was found that performance of pavements inside the canyon was largely determined by the canyon geometry. In a high-density residential area, modifying pavements had insignificant effect on the ...

Contributors
Yang, Jiachuan, Wang, Zhi-Hua, Kaloush, Kamil E., et al.
Created Date
2016-08-22

Objectives: To provide novel quantification and advanced measurements of surface temperatures (Ts) in playgrounds, employing multiple scales of data, and provide insight into hot-hazard mitigation techniques and designs for improved environmental and public health. Methods: We conduct an analysis of Ts in two Metro-Phoenix playgrounds at three scales: neighborhood (1 km resolution), microscale (6.8 m resolution), and touch-scale (1 cm resolution). Data were derived from two sources: airborne remote sensing (neighborhood and microscale) and in situ (playground site) infrared Ts (touch-scale). Metrics of surface-to-air temperature deltas (Ts–a) and scale offsets (errors) are introduced. Results: Select in situ Ts in direct ...

Contributors
Vanos, Jennifer K., Middel, Ariane, McKercher, Grant R., et al.
Created Date
2015-11-10

Access to air conditioned space is critical for protecting urban populations from the adverse effects of heat exposure. Yet there remains fairly limited knowledge of the penetration of private (home air conditioning) and distribution of public (cooling centers and commercial space) cooled space across cities. Furthermore, the deployment of government-sponsored cooling centers is likely to be inadequately informed with respect to the location of existing cooling resources (residential air conditioning and air conditioned public space), raising questions of the equitability of access to heat refuges. We explore the distribution of private and public cooling resources and access inequities at the ...

Contributors
Fraser, Andrew M., Chester, Mikhail V., Eisenman, David, et al.
Created Date
2016-07-15

This study investigates the impact of photovoltaic canopy shade and tree shade on thermal comfort through meteorological observations and field surveys at a pedestrian mall on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

Contributors
Middel, Ariane, Selover, Nancy, Hagen, Bjorn, et al.
Created Date
2016-05-18

Using National Land Cover Data we analyzed land fragmentation trends from 1992 to 2001 in five southwestern cities associated with Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites.

Contributors
York, Abigail M., Shrestha, Milan, Boone, Christopher G., et al.
Created Date
2011-02-11

The association between a developing urban heat island and local monthly averaged wind speeds is examined in this investigation. Results from a series of statistical analyses show a significant increase in wind speeds in Phoenix, Arizona during the period of rapid heat island development. The increase in winds is found to be much stronger at 0500 MST than at 1400 MST. Increased instability and the development of a strong heat low circulation in the urban environment are suggested as probable causes for the increased wind speeds.

Contributors
Balling, Jr., Robert C., Cerveny, Randall S.
Created Date
1987-06-01

Context With rapidly expanding urban regions, the effects of land cover changes on urban surface temperatures and the consequences of these changes for human health are becoming progressively larger problems. Objectives We investigated residential parcel and neighborhood scale variations in urban land surface temperature, land cover, and residents’ perceptions of landscapes and heat illnesses in the subtropical desert city of Phoenix, AZ USA. Methods We conducted an airborne imaging campaign that acquired high resolution urban land surface temperature data (7 m/pixel) during the day and night. We performed a geographic overlay of these data with high resolution land cover maps, ...

Contributors
Jenerette, Darrel G., Harlan, Sharon L., Buyantuev, Alexander, et al.
Created Date
2015-10-19

This established model is applied here to show the relative effects of four common mitigation strategies: increasing the overall (1) emissivity, (2) percentage of vegetated area, (3) thermal conductivity, and (4) albedo of the urban environment in a series of percentage increases by 5, 10, 15, and 20% from baseline values.

Contributors
Humberto, Silva R., Phelan, Patrick E., Golden, Jay S.
Created Date
2009-07-26

Background: Extreme heat is a public health challenge. The scarcity of directly comparable studies on the association of heat with morbidity and mortality and the inconsistent identification of threshold temperatures for severe impacts hampers the development of comprehensive strategies aimed at reducing adverse heat-health events. Objectives: This quantitative study was designed to link temperature with mortality and morbidity events in Maricopa County, Arizona, USA, with a focus on the summer season. Methods: Using Poisson regression models that controlled for temporal confounders, we assessed daily temperature–health associations for a suite of mortality and morbidity events, diagnoses, and temperature metrics. Minimum risk ...

Contributors
Pettiti, Diana B., Hondula, David M., Yang, Shuo, et al.
Created Date
2016-02-01

The relationship between the characteristics of the urban land system and land surface temperature (LST) has received increasing attention in urban heat island and sustainability research, especially for desert cities. This research generally employs medium or coarser spatial resolution data and primarily focuses on the effects of a few classes of land-cover composition and pattern at the neighborhood or larger level using regression models. This study explores the effects of land system architecture—composition and configuration, both pattern and shape, of fine-grain land-cover classes—on LST of single family residential parcels in the Phoenix, Arizona (southwestern USA) metropolitan area. A 1 m ...

Contributors
Li, Xiaoxiao, Kamarianakis, Yiannis, Ouyang, Yun, et al.
Created Date
2017-02-14

The impacts of land-cover composition on urban temperatures, including temperature extremes, are well documented. Much less attention has been devoted to the consequences of land-cover configuration, most of which addresses land surface temperatures. This study explores the role of both composition and configuration—or land system architecture—of residential neighborhoods in the Phoenix metropolitan area, on near-surface air temperature. It addresses two-dimensional, spatial attributes of buildings, impervious surfaces, bare soil/rock, vegetation and the “urbanscape” at large, from 50 m to 550 m at 100 m increments, for a representative 30-day high sun period. Linear mixed-effects models evaluate the significance of land system ...

Contributors
Kamarianakis, Yiannis, Li, Xiaoxiao, Turner II, B. L., et al.
Created Date
2017-12-05

The first objective of this work was to catalyze discussion of the role of personal heat exposure information in research and risk assessment. The second objective was to provide guidance regarding the operationalization of personal heat exposure research methods.

Contributors
Kuras, Evan R., Richardson, Molly B., Calkins, Mirian M., et al.
Created Date
2017-08

The urban heat island effect is especially significant in semi-arid climates, generating a myriad of problems for large urban areas. Green space can mitigate warming, providing cooling benefits important to reducing energy consumption and improving human health. The arrangement of green space to reap the full potential of cooling benefits is a challenge, especially considering the diurnal variations of urban heat island effects. Surprisingly, methods that support the strategic placement of green space in the context of urban heat island are lacking. Integrating geographic information systems, remote sensing, spatial statistics and spatial optimization, we developed a framework to identify the ...

Contributors
Zhang, Yujia, Murray, Alan T., Turner, II, B.L.
Created Date
2017-07-31

Background: Vulnerability mapping based on vulnerability indices is a pragmatic approach for highlighting the areas in a city where people are at the greatest risk of harm from heat, but the manner in which vulnerability is conceptualized influences the results. Objectives: We tested a generic national heat-vulnerability index, based on a 10-variable indicator framework, using data on heat-related hospitalizations in Phoenix, Arizona. We also identified potential local risk factors not included in the generic indicators. Methods: To evaluate the accuracy of the generic index in a city-specific context, we used factor scores, derived from a factor analysis using census tract–level ...

Contributors
Chuang, Wen-Ching, Gober, Patricia
Created Date
2015-06-01

This study seeks to determine the role of land architecture—the composition and configuration of land cover—as well as cadastral–demographic–economic factors on land surface temperature (LST) and the surface urban heat island effect of Phoenix, Arizona. It employs 1 m National Agricultural Imagery Program data of land-cover with 120mLandsat-derived land surface temperature, decomposed to 30 m, a newmeasure of configuration, the normalizedmoment of inertia, and U.S. Census data to address the question for tworandomly selected samples comprising 523 and 545 residential neighborhoods (census blocks) in the city. The results indicate that, contrary to most other studies, land configuration has a stronger ...

Contributors
Li, Xiaoxiao, Li, Wenwen, Middel, Ariane, et al.
Created Date
2015-12-29

Conversion of natural to urban land forms imparts influence on local and regional hydroclimate via modification of the surface energy and water balance, and consideration of such effects due to rapidly expanding megapolitan areas is necessary in light of the growing global share of urban inhabitants. Based on a suite of ensemble-based, multi-year simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, we quantify seasonally varying hydroclimatic impacts of the most rapidly expanding megapolitan area in the US: Arizona's Sun Corridor, centered upon the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Using a scenario-based urban expansion approach that accounts for the full range ...

Contributors
Georgescu, M., Mahalov, A., Moustaoui, M.
Created Date
2012-09-07

We generated 5-meter resolution SVF maps for two neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona to illustrate fine-scale variations of intra-urban horizon limitations due to urban form and vegetation.

Contributors
Middel, Ariane, Lukasczyk, Jonas, Maciejewski, Ross, et al.
Created Date
2017-03-17

To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low-income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation.

Contributors
Frey, S.E., Destaillats, H., Cohn, S., et al.
Created Date
2015

Here, 201 surveys were distributed in Metropolitan Phoenix to determine the social impacts of the heat warning system, or more specifically, to gauge risk perception and warning response.

Contributors
Kalkstein, Adam J., Sheridan, Scott C., Kent State University
Created Date
2007-01-30

Presentation by David Sailor, professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and director of the Urban Climate Research Center at ASU. Sailer's presentation addresses how to define urban heat islands (UHI), and decisions about why and how to measure these complex ecosystems.

Contributors
Sailor, David
Created Date
2017-09-07

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and must be addressed in planning. The purpose of this research is to investigate the effectiveness of urban heat island effect reduction factors for Metropolitan Phoenix. Current strategies, case studies, and the ENVI-Met modeling software were used to finalize conclusions and suggestions to further progress Phoenix’s goals in combating urban heat islands. Results from the studies found that the implementation of green walls and roofs, the integration of wind towers into existing and new construction, improving building energy efficiency, and an establishment of a task force ...

Contributors
Shqalsi, Ema, Middel, Ariane, Pijawka, David
Created Date
2017-04-12

This review investigates the possible reasons and motivations underpinning the large body of work, as well as summarizing specific themes, approaches, and theoretical contributions arising from such study.

Contributors
Chow, Winston T. L., Brennan, Dean, Brazel, Anthony J.
Created Date
2011-08-18

This study assessed the spatial distribution of vulnerability to extreme heat in 1990 and 2000 within metropolitan Phoenix based on an index of seven equally weighted measures of physical exposure and adaptive capacity.

Contributors
Chow, Winston T. L., Chuang, Wen-Ching, Gober, Patricia
Created Date
2011-08-18

This archives houses peer-reviewed literature, data sets, reports, and other materials generated by ASU researchers that may be informative for local and regional efforts mitigating the adverse impacts of heat. The collection is intended to serve as a resource for students, faculty, and staff collaborating on research initiatives related to heat as well as for community, local, state, and regional partners and other interested parties contributing to heat planning, preparedness, and response activities.