Urban heat islands cause high temperatures

Published on
July 30, 2019

Heat waves occur more often in the Netherlands, they also last longer and are more intense. In the cities it feels even hotter than on the countryside: this is because of so-called ‘heat islands’. In some places these heat islands can cause a higher temperature by up to eight degrees. That cities retain heat is partly due to the height and density of the buildings, but also because there is a lot of traffic and usually less vegetation. These factors all prevent the heat to escape the city at night.

Gert-Jan Steeneveld is meteorologist at Wageningen University & Research and works on computer models that can map the temperature at street level.