People gather at Barton Springs Pool on June 21st, 2023, in Austin, Texas as extreme temperatures across the state prompted excessive heat warnings | Photo by Brandon Bell / Getty Images
Seeing how much hotter certain neighborhoods can get compared to others nearby blows my mind, and I report on this kind of thing for a living.
I live in New York City, which tops a new list of places in the US where temperature spikes because of urban sprawl. It’s a problem called the urban heat island effect. Basically, areas with more paved surfaces and less greenery trap heat. That raises temperatures in cities compared to more rural locations. It also makes certain neighborhoods within a city hotter than others.
A new analysis ranks 44 major cities that altogether are home to a quarter of the country’s population. More than half of the population in these cities live in census tracks that can feel at least 8 degrees Fahrenheit…