Extreme Heat in Cities

Dr. Anamika Shreevastava, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow

Thursday, March 16 at 12 pm (PT)

180-101 and via WebEx

Abstract: Cities face the worst brunt of extreme heat events such as heatwaves as they already experience the urban heat island. Therefore, cities must look for novel ways to adapt and be resilient. I view this problem as a trans-disciplinary challenge that is at the nexus of two interacting complex systems - extreme weather and urban socio-technological systems.

Southern California is no stranger to extreme heat but persistently humid heatwaves still test the adaptability limits of its residents. In fact, heatwaves are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among all environmental hazards. Moreover, their frequency and intensity are on the rise due to climate change. My main case study in this talk is a set of two contrasting heatwaves that afflicted Los Angeles in the summer of 2020 as it forms the perfect testbed for characterizing the impacts of humid vs dry heatwaves on urban environment. I will end with a discussion on the need to account for the disparity in small-scale heatwave patterns across urban neighborhoods in designing policies for equitable climate action.

About the speaker: I am a NASA Postdoctoral (NPP) Fellow working on extreme heat impacts with Dr. Glynn Hulley in the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems group (329G). I obtained my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, and then I moved to Purdue University for my Masters and Doctoral Degree in Ecological Sciences and Engineering. My doctoral research was focused on “Characterizing the intra-urban complexity of the Fractal Urban Heat Island”. Now at JPL, I use a combination of remotely sensed LST (from Landsat and ECOSTRESS) and high-resolution Weather Research Forecast (WRF) modeling to simulate urban thermal dynamics at a neighborhood scale. In addition, I am a part of the Surface Biology and Geology (SBG) mission where I work detection and retrieval of high temperature phenomenon (>500 Kelvin), such as wildfires and volcanic eruptions using the Midwave infrared bands (MIR: 4-5 µm) in conjunction with the Thermal infrared bands (TIR: 8-12µm).

03/16/2023 - 12:00
Dr. Anamika Shreevastava, NASA Postdoctoral Fellow
180-101 & WebEx