University of Minnesota: Urban heat and climate change

The National Weather Service predicts above normal temperatures throughout Minnesota and the Upper Midwest through the end of the month. Those who live in cities may experience the heatwave more acutely, due to pavement and buildings that store heat and warm their surroundings.

Tracy Twine — a University of Minnesota expert on climate change and urban heat — is available to provide expert comment on the heatwave and what it means for the Twin Cities and other metropolitan areas in the Midwest.

Tracy Twine, PhD
“Most cities are warming at twice the rate of outlying areas. With 3.5 billion people calling urban areas home, the built environment can exacerbate heat waves, pollution can impact human health, and excess energy consumption can cost billions of dollars.

“My research group is mapping the temperature differences that can be felt block to block in the Twin Cities. We are investigating the impact of remediation strategies like white roofs and tree cover. Choices that cities make about land use can exacerbate the effects of climate change, or manage the negative impacts.”

Tracy Twine is an associate professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate in the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences. Her areas of expertise include urban heat islands (including the Twin Cities), the impacts of climate change on agriculture, and the interactions between the land and the atmosphere.