Verify: Are heat islands real?

VERIFY: Are heat islands real?

Macon's brick buildings boil under the sun each day, and people are feeling the heat.

Macon may be landlocked, but can it actually be an island? 

Courteney Jacobazzi verified if the phenomenon of heat islands is a true threat. She spoke with Meteorologist Matt Daniel and Director of Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification, Sam Kitchens.

Matt Daniel explains the concept of a heat island.

"Shortwave radiation from the sun hits the ground and usually, in most instances, at nighttime, you get longwave radiation. That radiation from the ground that gets absorbed goes back out into the sky and into space, but when you have a lot of big buildings, those buildings can actually trap the heat from that day."

He also compares metro and rural area temperatures.

"You might see metro Atlanta with temperatures in the mid 70s and then if you go outside of that, you might see temperatures in the mid to upper 60s. So you can see a huge span because all of those buildings actually trap the heat. "

Buildings such as brick buildings, which line the streets of downtown Macon, trap rather than reflect heat.

It's verified, heat islands are real. They can, however, be tamed by replacing the blacktop with more green. 

Sam Kitchens from Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification says the city is being proactive.

"We're always looking for opportunities to create green spaces and parks. We also have an initiative to plant at least 250 trees a year due to construction, damaged trees, diseased trees, trees that were caught in storms."

 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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