New Orleans is already a “heat island”.Then Ida cut off the power


Sunday, hurricane Aida Landing in Louisiana, Linked to the 2020s Hurricane Laura As the strongest storm ever hit the state.Strong winds of 150 miles per hour tore through the power infrastructure, leaving behind Ten thousand people without electricity. All eight transmission lines into New Orleans Cut off.

now Temperature in the 90sAnd harsh humidity—it’s summer after all—put Louisiana into a multi-level crisis: residents without electricity and generators will also lack fans or air-conditioning.Utility company Entergy said it may not be able to restore power three weeks, But local officials warned that it may take a month for some people. “I’m not satisfied with 30 days, and Entergy people are not satisfied with 30 days,” Louisiana Governor John Bell Edwards Said At the press conference on Tuesday. “Anyone who needs strength will not be satisfied with this.”

In New Orleans and others have formed”Heat island“In the landscape. There are not enough trees or other green spaces in these places. The built environment absorbs solar energy during the day and releases it slowly at night. The temperature in the city may be 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the surrounding rural areas. This is very bad news: a analyze A study published by the research team’s Climate Center in July found that the heat island effect in New Orleans is Worse than any other city In the U.S.

If you are curious about what the climate crisis hell looks like, this is it. “The whole area has been hot and humid throughout the summer,” said Barry Kem, a climate scientist at Louisiana State University, who is also a climatologist in the state. “And you will add some urban heat island effects, which will only exacerbate this situation, and then you will damage the air conditioning system. This is the secret of the disaster.”

Several factors turn cities into heat islands. Concrete, asphalt and bricks absorb heat very well. When the surrounding air cools at night, those dense materials can only release part of the heat, so they may still be warm when the sun rises and more energy is applied the next day.Vivek Shandas, a climate adaptation scientist at Portland State University, once studied Portland, New Orleans and dozens of other cities. He said that after Hurricane Ida, it now looks like New Orleans is facing “a series of overheating weather.”

The structure of the built environment is also a major factor. High-rise buildings absorb sunlight and block wind, and absorb heat in the downtown area. The building itself generates heat—especially factories—or exhausts hot air from air-conditioning units.

Compare this to a rural area full of trees: when the sun shines on a forest or grassland, the vegetation absorbs energy, but it releases water vapor. In a sense, the green space cools the air by “sweating”, which makes the temperature more tolerable.

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In an ideal world, every city would be covered with trees to help cool down. But in a metropolis like New Orleans, Shandas said, the temperature varies greatly, even block by block. Brick buildings retain heat better than wooden buildings, while wide highways are bathed in sunlight. However, if there are trees scattered throughout the building, and if you have a lot of green space (such as a park), all these green spaces help cool the air.

One day last August, Shanda and other researchers collected 75,000 temperature measurements from around New Orleans. They found that the coldest area was about 88 degrees, while the hottest area soared to 102 degrees. “This is related to the green space, but also has a lot to do with the configuration of the building and the building materials,” Shandas said.





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