GLOBE Urban Heat Island Effect/Surface Temperature Student Research Campaign Has Begun! Your Observations Are Vital!

Photo of GLOBE students taking measurements
Photo: Kevin Czajkowski

The Northern Hemisphere Spring and Southern Hemisphere Fall Urban Heat Island Effect – Surface Temperature Field Campaign has begun (01 March), and will run through 31 March. Your observations, and continued participation, is vital to this scientific endeavor.

The campaign is focused on looking at the impact urbanization has on the Earth’s surface temperature and how the surface temperature changes the dynamics of the Earth’s atmosphere. The campaign is now studying these impacts in seasons: October, December, and March.

Now that March has begun, it is time once again to collect observations of surface temperature, clouds and snow – and add to the extensive data set that students and scientists including Dr. C. (Professor Kevin Czajkowski at the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA) can use to study the urban heat island effect. Whether you are at an urban school, suburban school, or rural school, your observations are important. 

The main research question that needs to be answered is "How does surface cover affect surface temperature?" The campaign encourages participating students to set up research studies at their schools.

Participation in this campaign in 2017 was tremendous in October and December. (In December, 69 schools entered 1,323 observations.) More schools are now taking surface temperature observations; therefore, students can investigate how surface temperature changes between schools. Students can look at elevation, latitude and longitude, urban versus rural, proximity to water, etc. There are many research questions possible with surface temperature! 

Studying the energy cycle is fundamental to understanding how the Earth’s spheres function within its system. The surface temperature measurements contribute data: 1) not normally collected by weather agencies, 2) for climate studies, and 3) for ground-truthing satellite data.

Dr. Kevin Czajkowski, the developer of the surface temperature protocol, posted a recent blog – thanking all who have been taking observations for this campaign. As he states in his blog, “It is your data that will allow other students to create interesting research projects as well as providing a database for me and my students to conduct research. We have schools all over the world taking surface temperature observations to contribute to the campaign.” Click here to read the blog.

To learn more about the campaign, including what data to collect and when; what to do and how to do it, and to read advice from Dr. C., click here.

News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office


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