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 Lighten Up and Cool Down

Lighten Up and Cool Down

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The 6 to 10 degree F higher urban temperatures result primarily from land cover changes associated with urbanization. Vegetation is replaced by built structures, particularly large horizontal areas like roofs and paving, which absorb and store heat. Excess urban heat contributes to environmental problems such as increased demand for air conditioning (indirectly creating more emissions from electrical power generation), heated stormwater runoff into streams, and heat-related health problems. Some simple cost-effective "cool communities" strategies can make a significant difference by lowering summer air temperature.



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