Spatiotemporal Evaluation of Land Cover Impacts on Urban Climate
Human-induced landscape transformation profoundly alters the surface energy balance with subsequent environmental impacts. Such changes are particularly notable in areas that have undergone urbanization due to the replacement of moist and pervious natural landscapes with dry and impervious surfaces resulting in the well-known urban heat island (UHI) effect. Most prior work describing land cover impacts on a city’s skin temperature has been based on cross-sectional studies. However, very few studies have focused on the evolution of the UHI effect over time. In this study, we will couple remotely sensed data sets, local spatial indicators, and spatial econometric models to examine the spatiotemporal trend in the surface temperatures in relation to the urbanization pattern over the Boise-Meridian region from 1995 to 2015. The rapidly growing Boise metropolitan area has experienced dramatic warming over the past 20 years and by far no known study has examined this warming trend. This study will provide the first investigation of the evolving UHI pattern and associate it with the land cover dynamics in this fast-growing metropolitan region. Results from this research will provide targeted guidelines for sustainable future planning and resource management. This project is anticipated to result in at least one journal article and provide preliminary results for a grant proposal to be submitted to NSF or NASA.