: 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.


Making Art Off The Grid: A Month-Long Residency At A Remote National Park

Filmmakers Carter McCormick and Paula Sprenger recently wrapped up a month as artists-in-residence at Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West. No phone, TV, Internet or other people.

After A Long Day Of Fighting Climate Change, This Grain Is Ready For A Beer

Kernza is a kind of grassy wheat that traps more carbon in the soil than crops like wheat and rice. Now, a West Coast brewery is using the grain in its new beer called Long Root Ale.

WikiLeaks Reveals Clinton Aides Knew They Had An Email Problem On Their Hands

"We need to clean this up," one aide wrote after President Obama said he had learned of Hillary Clinton's private email server "through news reports."
WAMU 88.5

Jet Noise Is No Joke For Residents Burned By Report About Airport Complaints

Nobody wants to own up to making thousands of complaints about noise from planes flying out of Reagan National Airport. But nearby residents say the noise definitely has gotten worse recently. And there appears to be a specific reason — a new air traffic control system.

Leave a Comment

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