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March GLOBE Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE)-Surface Temperature Student Research Campaign is On!

The March UHIE-Surface Temperature Field Campaign is on! 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. Czajkowski (“Dr. C,” Director of the Geographic Information Science and Applied Geographics Lab at the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA) can use to study the urban heat island effect.


The campaign – which now takes place in October, December, and March – 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.

“For many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it has been cold and snowy … really cold. And, the storms just kept coming across the United States and Europe. This was due to a phenomenon called a Sudden Stratospheric Warming Event,” Dr. C said. “The warming event started in early January in the Stratosphere about 15 km above our heads. The impact from the event was seen first in Japan and other parts of Asia, then in Europe and lastly in North America. I set up an ice rink in my back yard because I knew the cold air was coming.”

Dr. C’s son, Timmy, skating in their backyard.

“The urban heat island effect may be far from our minds, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t study it. During these cold winter days and nights, the urban heat island effect may actually lead to less energy use to heat homes. This is the good side of urban heat island.” 

 “In addition to that, many of you who live closer to the tropics or the Southern Hemisphere may be experiencing warm temperatures and impacts from the urban heat island effect. March is a good time to look at these areas for the negative impacts.” 

 “If you are able to get outside and take surface temperature observations for the campaign, please try to take observations of two different sites that have two different cover types. For instance, you may want to look at the difference in temperature between concrete and grass. If your students are doing remote learning, you may want to take observations yourself to share with your students. Let them guess what surface would be warmest and say why before you take the observations. Then, see how well they guessed,” Dr. C. said. “Thank you for participating in the campaign. Stay safe.”  

 To learn more about, and participate in, the campaign, click here.


News origin: GLOBE Implementation Office