This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation CAREER and Hydrological Sciences programs under Grant No. 1751377 to K.B.M. Moffett at Washington State University.
Urban heat island -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Land use -- Oregon -- Portland, Land cover, Urban climatology, Temperature -- Effect of landscape features on, Urbanization
The urban heat island (UHI) concept describes heat trapping that elevates urban temperatures relative to rural temperatures, at least in temperate/humid regions. In drylands, urban irrigation can instead produce an urban cool island (UCI) effect. However, the UHI/UCI characterization suffers from uncertainty in choosing representative urban/rural endmembers, an artificial dichotomy between UHIs and UCIs, and lack of consistent terminology for other patterns of thermal variation at nested scales. We use the case of a historically well-enforced urban growth boundary (UGB) around Portland (Oregon, USA): to explore the representativeness of the surface temperature UHI (SUHI) as derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) land surface temperature data, to test common assumptions of characteristically “warm” or “cool” land covers (LCs), and to name other common urban thermal features of interest. We find that the UGB contains heat as well as sprawl, inducing a sharp surface temperature contrast across the urban/rural boundary. The contrast ranges widely depending on the end-members chosen, across a spectrum from positive (SUHI) to negative (SUCI) values. We propose a new, inclusive “urban thermal deviation” (UTD) term to span the spectrum of possible UHI-zero-UCI conditions. We also distinguish at finer scales “microthermal extremes” (MTEs), discrete areas tending in the same thermal direction as their LC or surroundings but to extreme (hot or cold) values, and microthermal anomalies (MTAs), that run counter to thermal expectations or tendencies for their LC or surroundings. The distinction is important because MTEs suggest a need for moderation in the local thermal landscape, whereas MTAs may suggest solutions.
Moffett, K. B., Makido, Y., & Shandas, V. (2019). Urban-Rural Surface Temperature Deviation and Intra-Urban Variations Contained by an Urban Growth Boundary. Remote Sensing, 11(22), 2683.