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NASA Urban Heat Island Effect: Projecting the Urban Heat Island Effect Using Historical Weather Patterns and Land Cover

2021

NASA, Texas Space Grant Consortium, and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research Summer Intern Program is a nationally competitive STEM program for high school students.

An Urban Heat Island is a metropolitan area with higher air and surface temperatures than surrounding areas. The Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) is a relative measure of the heat in urban heat islands. 


We investigated how developed land cover and weather trends can be used to forecast the UHIE with two distinct modeling frameworks. Our projections of future conditions can prepare scientists and communities to take greener initiatives and adapt their lifestyle to preserve the Earth.


We focused on the Greater Austin Region (TX, USA) for initial feasibility, but we may extend

these methods to a national or global scale.

NASA Urban Heat Island Effect Internship: Project

Projecting the Urban Heat Island Effect Using Historical Weather Patterns and Land Cover

Research Question: How can developed land cover and weather trends be used to forecast the Urban Heat Island Effect?

The first technique uses machine learning (Keras sequential model) to identify correlations between factors closely linked to the UHIE. The tested factors were air and surface temperature, relative humidity, soil moisture, and population growth. Evident correlations were found and used to begin training a predictive model (artificial neural network).

The second technique uses developed softwares in QGIS Modules for Land Use Change Evaluation (MOLUSCE), high resolution satellite imagery provided by Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics land cover/land use data, and distance from roadways and inland water bodies data in order to accurately predict the possible changes in 2022 to the Greater Austin Region.

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NASA Urban Heat Island Effect Internship: Welcome
NASA Urban Heat Island Effect Internship: Pro Gallery

Team

Urban Heat Island Effect Subteam

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Kevin Czajkowski

Geospatial Technologies University of Toledo

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Yitong Jiang

Research Associate University of Toledo

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Olawale Oluwafemi

Research Associate University of Toledo

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Sara Mierzwiak

Research Assistant GLOBE Mission EARTH

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Moneel Patel

Student Researcher

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Sam Srivastava

Student Researcher

NASA Urban Heat Island Effect Internship: Team Members
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