Across the world, global warming has become a menace. It has now become a major reason for the loss of biodiversity, disturbance of the ecosystem, and livelihoods of people. There is an immense danger of flooding of all low-lying areas due to the melting of ice caps and rise in the level of seawater. The world is becoming hotter with average annual temperature in many places increasing gradually. In the US, many cities are warming at a fast pace like other global cities. Let us have a look at some of these urban cities.
Two cities in the US state of Nevada, i.e. Reno Nevada and Las Vegas, as well as Phoenix of the US state of Arizona, are currently the cities that are the top fastest warming cities due to global warming. All the three cities are also some of the most populous cities of the United States of America. These are experiencing an annual increase of over one degree Fahrenheit.
Reno Nevada and Las Vegas are both experiencing a sharp drop in the water level in their lakes and rivers due to a hotter and desert like climate. Battered by hurricanes – Katrina and Sandy, Phoenix Arizona, in particular, has experienced massive damage due to strong winds, rising sea level, and drought. The summers are becoming warmer with the temperature remaining higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit for many days.
There are also other US cities like Riverside California, Prescott Arizona, Chattanooga Tennessee, Tucson Arizona, Minneapolis Minnesota, El Paso Texas, and the Fargo North Dakota, which scores high as the fastest-warming cities in the United States of America.
Reasons Of The Rapid Increase In Temperature
US cities are experiencing hot summers since 1970. They are becoming hotter in comparison to rural areas due to a multitude of reasons. One reason is the high density of population in such cities. With more people, the emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide, methane, etc. is also more in such cities. The largest contributors of these gasses are buildings and transport because buildings use water-resistant and non-reflective materials in construction as well as more air-conditioning and refrigeration system. Consequently, the air is becoming hot and is unable to escape the surface making it even hotter. This is called the heat island effect, which is making these US cities warmer at a fast rate.
Steps To Improve The Situation
According to the researchers, more parks with trees and white roofs of buildings are a good way to improve the existing situation. Research suggests that urban planning needs to incorporate white roofs, more parks, and trees, as well as alternative materials for urban infrastructure. These measures can help reduce the effects of urban heat islands. Switching to alternative sources of energy like solar and the wind can also have a significant impact on reducing the rate of warming in these cities facing the same kind of temperature increase. Both offer clean energy without emission of any heat-trapping greenhouse gasses.