Health effects of urban heat islands with changing climate w/personal monitoring devices

Health effects of urban heat islands with changing climate w/personal monitoring devices

Leads: Kyle Messier (NIEHS) and Brian Reich (Stat, NCSU)

Intellectual merit and significance:  
The air temperature in urban areas is often several degrees higher than in non-urban areas. This increased heat-island effect poses health risks [1] exacerbated by climate change. Quantifying risk at the local level (sub-city) is vital for developing mitigation strategies.
Unfortunately, standard meteorological data streams are not sufficient to provide reliable local risk estimates. We propose to supplement the analysis using personal monitoring devices, such as PurpleAir devices [2] widely used by citizen scientists across the US. Using this new data source will vastly increase data quantity but fusing these data with standardized meteorological data poses statistical challenges.

Building on the methods in Yang et al. [3] for the air quality in wildland fire episodes, students will harmonize data streams, developing a hierarchical Bayesian spatial model to map the urban heat island effects while accounting for bias and uncertainty in the personal monitoring device data.

Refined estimate of urban heat island and their associated health effects across US cities.

1. Santamouris M. Recent progress on urban overheating and heat island research. Integrated assessment of the energy, environmental, vulnerability and health impact. Synergies with the global climate change. Energy Build. 2020;207:109482.
2. PurpleAir Inc. PurpleAir 2023.
3. Yang H, Ruiz-Suarez S, Reich B, Guan Y, Rappold A. Data-fusion approach to as-sessing the contribution of wildland fire smoke to fine particulate matter in California. Remote Sensing. 2023;15:4246.