Is there evidence of the urban Heat Island Effect in Hatfield?
Year 13 geographers endured the cold winds this week to carry out fieldwork in Hatfield to test the theory of the Urban Heat Island Effect. An urban heat island occurs when an urban area experiences much warmer temperatures than nearby rural areas. The main causes are changes in the land surface by urban development along with waste heat generated by energy use.
We discovered that temperatures were higher in the centre of Hatfield where there was a large amount of concrete and tarmac which absorbs heat and warms the air around them. This agrees with the theory that concrete has a higher albedo rate and absorbs heat which results in higher air temperatures. We also recorded lower temperatures in wooded, park areas, as evapotranspiration from plants cools the air around them. Even on a cold, windy day in November in Hatfield, the differences in temperature were noticeable.