Heatmap Volunteers Wanted

Volunteers in San Francisco are wanted to help create new heatmaps of the cityscape by attaching sensors to their vehicles.

The city is one of 14 that have been selected for the Urban Heat Watch project, which aims to better understand the relationship between climate change, extreme temperatures, public health and the built environment, according to the office of the city ​​administrator.

The project is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and will allow the city to measure how temperatures vary by neighborhood in an effort to address health inequities related to extreme heat.

Around 50 volunteers are recruited to attach sensors to their vehicles and travel predetermined routes around the city. The sensors will record temperature and humidity data that will help design urban heat island maps. Interested volunteers can register at sfclimatehealth.org/heatwatch.

“We know that extreme heat and poor air quality conditions caused by climate change can have adverse health effects and exacerbate health inequities among communities of color and among medically vulnerable people” , said the city’s director of health, Dr. Grant Colfax.

The project is a partnership between several city agencies and two non-profit organizations, Brightline Defense Project and NICOS Chinese Health Coalition.

“We joined this effort because natural disasters such as extreme heat disproportionately impact people of color and marginalized communities such as those residing in Chinatown,” Kent Woo, executive director of NICOS, said in a statement. Press. “We are proud to partner with the city and the Urban Heat Watch project to strengthen our ability to monitor and manage the effects of extreme heat.”

The city reports a higher increase in ER visits during the oppressive heat compared to other parts of the state. That’s because people who live in temperate climates have a harder time withstanding extreme heat events than people who live in warmer climates, according to the administrator’s office.

The effects may be worse for vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children and people with pre-existing health conditions, and people who cannot easily travel to find temporary relief.

According to a 2019 report from the UC Berkely Public School of Health, San Francisco experiences between three and six episodes of extreme heat each year. Climate change could increase these events to up to 13 per year by the end of the century.

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Copyright © 2022 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, redistribution, or other reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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