"Climatologists say global warming gets some of the blame. But the prime villain, they say, is the ever-increasing urbanization of the region. The rapid development of Southern California over the last 50 years has created structures and landscapes that retain heat better than dry desert chaparral."
"The extreme makeover Southern California got is impacting nighttime temperatures," said William Patzert, a meteorologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
"Everybody wants to know why it's not cooling off at night. This is an urban land use 'heat island' effect."
"The numbers tell the tale: Between 1901 and 2000, the average daytime temperature in Southern California has gone up by three degrees, Patzert said. But nighttime averages have risen by seven degrees."
This information is from a story in the L A Times.
As Sarasota creates more concrete hardscape downtown and elsewhere, we too will increasingly feel the heat island effect.
There is something we can do to counter this effect - retain and even increase the number of trees!
It is well known that trees soak up water during periods of heavy rain (slowing or preventing run-off), slowly release the water through leaves providing cooling, and trees provide shade without retaining daytime heat. Economic studies also show retail establishments on tree lined streets streets out-perform those on non-tree streets. Economic performance in both total sales and ability to sell at a higher price is improved.