Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science have discovered that by 2050, global warming will wreak havoc on Sydney, Australia if city planning and suburban design don’t change drastically.
Sydney’s suburbs are exploding with people and multiple developments surrounding the city are expected to house more than 100,000 residents. These areas are also most likely to experience the largest temperature increases, and scientists are already seeing that evening temperatures are increasing more than daytime temperatures.
Experts posits that these evening temperature increases may lead to health problems related to heat exhausting, not to mention skyrocketing electricity bills due to air conditioners working overtime.
This heat island effect, as scientists call it, happens when urban buildings store more heat than open ground. The heat then accumulates and is released at nighttime, thereby increasing evening temperatures.
The effect also impedes evaporation, which under normal circumstances has a positive cooling effect, adding to the heat issues.
An expert from the University of New South Wales Built Environment believes that proper city planning and environmentally friendly suburban design can mitigate some of the issues expected with global warming.
Research has determined that tree-lined streets, bodies of water in suburban neighborhoods, and other green spaces can have a significant impact on lowering temperatures.