This year the summer season has been really hot. All over the world there have been record high temperature leading to wildfires and heat evacuations. The hottest places surprisingly have been cities because of phenomenon called the ‘urban heat island effect’. The urban heat island effect is a phenomenon by which all the very hard materials such as concrete, tarmac retain their heat because of dark colors they absorb heat from sun’s rays. This results in cities staying warmer than rural areas.
As cities are built with certain fixed designs this effect can’t be overturned or reduced overnight. However cities can plant more trees, creating more green spaces like parks and installing water fountains.
Extreme heat affects people’s ability to work by reducing their productivity and workers get sick from heat stokes and heat exhaustion and can’t work. Heat also affects people’s ability to get to work because trains or buses are delayed. Extreme heat affects mainly the outdoor workers in the agricultural and construction sector because they can’t complete their traditional hours of work because it’s too hot and dangerous. Even people who live in high rises can’t focus if the air conditioning is not working properly.
Experts’ claim that due to extreme heat productivity loses in the U.S. is approximately $100 billion dollars annually. Due to heat stress they claim Texas is the most affected state due to extreme heat there and high proportion of outdoor workers.