Friday, July 28, 2006

Heat Island Effect in L A

"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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the research in your blog and encourage additional coversation about environmental issues. I also wonder about the changes to the proposed development plans for the City based on present market conditions. How will the change from condo development to hotel effect future city revenues? Does this meet the "live and work" mentality. What exactly is the development plan for downtown and its effects on the whole community? Will the retail proposed also be a casualty. Will the changes have an effect on the number of vehicles coming into downtown, rental or otherwise? When the developments were approved how were the market conditions weighted. It is a quick turnaround from what was proposed and what will be. For a City by the bay we sure have a lot of concrete barriers.
Perhaps Fort Sarasota would be a better name. Once you've anchored your pirate ship to gain access simply punch in the code on your blackberry. If you can get across 41 from the bay then stash your treasure in any of an overabundance of banks, eat, drink, be merry and then leave. If you return don't expect the same eatery as they come and go quickly but there may or may not be others. There may be a condo for you, but if not maybe a hotel room. Yes we had the distinction of the "Cultural Center." Culture/Condo/ Concrete, what's the difference? Yes, I can give you walking directions to the bay from the City but be very careful please. Yes, there are permanent residents. Many still live downtown in some wonderful historic neighborhoods. I guess they are the scouts for the Fort. They can see what is coming but unfortunately they do most of the battling to protect the Fort. As more developers need room to make the Fort even "better" for everyone I fear for these scouts. Yes, much of the new development does look the same as everywhere else. Were we supposed to be different? Look, if you like to shop this is going to be a great place for you. Yes we have shopping all over the County but from what I hear it is really important to have it right here in the downtown. No I don't know where you will park but I am sure someone knows. I think they would prefer that you leave your car elsewhere as it is a "pedestrian friendly" City. I don't know where you are supposed to leave it. No, there are not a lot of access routes other than 41 and 301. Yes we sit on the bay. Hmm, good question. I guess you could go up on top of one of the buidings if you want to try and see it. Our Hall sits on the bay and it is beautiful. No, you can't walk from here. You didn't being your car? Well, you could get a taxi. Then you can see the water. St. Armand's is nice too. How do you get there? Take a cab or drive. Yes it would be nice if there were some water taxis.
"I thought this was a walking City."
Soon, I guess.
"I'd like to rest is there a park or anything with some shade."
Soon I guess.
Isn't there an aquarium around here. Yes, on City Island. I can't walk can I? No, take a cab. So, with all of the new development what is new and different for me to do down here?
I have to go now, with this traffic it is going to take me forever to get out of here. Check with the Chamber, they have a list.
Can I walk from here? Carefully, very carefully, and bring lots of water, there isn't much shade.