Eyes on Earth Episode 55 – Urban Heat Islands of New York

Science Center Objects

Eyes on Earth is a podcast on remote sensing, Earth observation, land change and science, brought to you by the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. In this episode, we learn how New York City uses Landsat to pinpoint city hot spots.

Download and Transcript Access

Color photo of Christian Braneon and James Cottone with the logo for the USGS EROS podcast Eyes On Earth

Dr. Christian Braneon (upper left), and James Cottone

Summary: Urban heat islands occur in areas containing more impervious surfaces and fewer natural environments. The day and night surface temperature is higher in urban heat islands than in surrounding areas. During heat waves, this can lead to greater numbers of heat-related illnesses and deaths. Landsat satellites collect data on surface temperature and vegetative change that can help cities mitigate the heat stresses for residents, especially in a warming climate. For this episode of Eyes on Earth, we hear about how a mapping project involving Landsat data helped the New York City Council identify urban heat islands.

Guests: Dr. Christian Braneon, a remote sensing specialist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and James Cottone, a New York City Council resiliency planner

Host: Jane Lawson

Producer: John Hult

Release date: July 26, 2021

More on Landsat and urban heat islands: