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  Urban communities subject to ‘heat island effects’

This is Science Today. New research indicates that urban communities are hit hard by the effects of climate change, such as air pollution. Rachel Morello-Frosch of the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, says low income communities and communities of color are also affected by what they call 'heat island effects.'

Morello-Frosch:         Which basically means that within a city you can imagine when you walk down a city street that's almost all pavement and tall buildings on a really, really hot day - how hot that feels and then you have the opportunity to walk in a shaded area with tree canopy, and you literally feel a noticeable drop in apparent temperature. And so, we've done some preliminary data which shows some of these disparities in some of the major metropolitan areas in California and so what that research suggests is not only a problem, but also a potential solution. Ways in which investments in these communities could be done to fortify the built environment to make these communities more resilient and more capable and prepared to deal with some of the inevitable impacts of climate change and extreme weather events such as heat waves.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.