Study: UHI affects the urban growing season

Watts Up With That?

Urban Heat Island profile Image from Lawrence Berkeley Labs Urban Heat Island profile Image from Lawrence Berkeley Labs

From the UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON

Spring comes sooner to urban heat islands, with potential consequences for wildlife

MADISON, Wis. — With spring now fully sprung, a new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers shows that buds burst earlier in dense urban areas than in their suburban and rural surroundings. This may be music to urban gardeners’ ears, but that tune could be alarming to some native and migratory birds and bugs.

Urban-dwelling plants around the globe typically get a head start on the growing season compared to their rural counterparts because of the urban heat island effect, the phenomenon in which cities tend to be warmer than nonurban areas due to their plethora of built surfaces — made of concrete, asphalt and more — and scarcity of vegetation.

But according to the study, published this week in Environmental Research Letters

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