Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 183–203

Urbanization and warming of Phoenix (Arizona, USA): Impacts, feedbacks and mitigation

  • Lawrence A. Baker
  • Anthony J. Brazel
  • Nancy Selover
  • Chris Martin
  • Nancy McIntyre
  • Frederick R. Steiner
  • Amy Nelson
  • Laura Musacchio
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026101528700

Cite this article as:
Baker, L.A., Brazel, A.J., Selover, N. et al. Urban Ecosystems (2002) 6: 183. doi:10.1023/A:1026101528700

Abstract

This paper examines the impacts, feedbacks, and mitigation of the urban heat island in Phoenix, Arizona (USA). At Sky Harbor Airport, urbanization has increased the nighttime minimum temperature by 5°C and the average daily temperatures by 3.1°C. Urban warming has increased the number of “misery hours per day” for humans, which may have important social consequences. Other impacts include (1) increased energy consumption for heating and cooling of buildings, (2) increased heat stress (but decreased cold stress) for plants, (3) reduced quality of cotton fiber and reduced dairy production on the urban fringe, and (4) a broadening of the seasonal thermal window for arthropods. Climate feedback loops associated with evapotranspiration, energy production and consumption associated with increased air conditioning demand, and land conversion are discussed. Urban planning and design policy could be redesigned to mitigate urban warming, and several cities in the region are incorporating concerns regarding urban warming into planning codes and practices. The issue is timely and important, because most of the world's human population growth over the next 30 years will occur in cities in warm climates.

urban ecosystems urban heat island feedbacks temperature heat index 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence A. Baker
    • 1
  • Anthony J. Brazel
    • 2
  • Nancy Selover
    • 3
  • Chris Martin
    • 4
  • Nancy McIntyre
    • 5
  • Frederick R. Steiner
    • 6
  • Amy Nelson
    • 7
  • Laura Musacchio
    • 8
  1. 1.Water Resources CenterUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Office of ClimatologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Plant BiologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biological SciencesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  6. 6.School of ArchitectureUniversity of TexasAustinUSA
  7. 7.Center for Environmental StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  8. 8.Department of Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis

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