: News

Filed Under:

Study Suggests D.C. Heats Up Baltimore

Play associated audio

By Rebecca Sheir

Washington, D.C., could be raising temperatures and decreasing air quality in Baltimore, Maryland. A new study from the University of Maryland says the answer is blowing in the wind.

If you don't remember July 9th, 2007, "it was a horrible, hot day in both Washington and Baltimore," says the study's co-author, Russ Dickerson, "and air quality was the worst its been in a decade."

Especially in Baltimore, where it reached nearly 100 degrees. That surprised Dickerson, since bigger cities which have more buildings and more asphalt trap more heat, thanks to the urban heat island effect, or UHI.

So Baltimore, being smaller than Washington, shouldn't have been as hot, he says.

But when Dickerson's team created a weather model of that July day, they saw the winds were southwesterly, "...blowing from Washington. So the air entering Baltimore was already sort of pre-heated, making the air quality and the environment in general in Baltimore worse," says Dickerson.

Dickerson says bulldozing D.C. and replacing it with vegetation could reduce the city's UHI by 25 percent. Since he doesn't expect that to happen, he urges urban planners to re-think land use.

"Maintaining forests, [and] planting more trees in urban environments will help with the weather," he says, "and with the air quality as well."

Both for us, and for our neighbors downstream.

NPR

Should College Dropouts Be Honored By Their Alma Maters?

From a Top Gun sequel starring drones to Howard University's pick of Puff Daddy as its commencement speaker, the Barbershop guys weigh in on the week's news.
NPR

Gefilte Fish Shortage: Best Thing Since The Parting Of The Red Sea?

A shortage of gefilte fish is causing panic in the middle of Passover. But New York Times reporter Matt Chaban says some observant Jews are OK with not having to eat the love-it-or-hate-it appetizer.
NPR

Should College Dropouts Be Honored By Their Alma Maters?

From a Top Gun sequel starring drones to Howard University's pick of Puff Daddy as its commencement speaker, the Barbershop guys weigh in on the week's news.
NPR

Should College Dropouts Be Honored By Their Alma Maters?

From a Top Gun sequel starring drones to Howard University's pick of Puff Daddy as its commencement speaker, the Barbershop guys weigh in on the week's news.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.