Figure 3 from the paper, showing a photograph of a tree, a satellite image, and a graph showing the impacts of different types of trees on temperature.
Impact of tree type on urban heating. Credit: Wang et al. [2022], Figure 3
Editors’ Highlights are summaries of recent papers by AGU’s journal editors.
Source: GeoHealth

Heat waves and air pollution events can often occur at the same time, posing a dual threat to the public health in many urban neighborhoods. However, at or within the neighborhood scale (a couple of kilometers or less), the limited density of air quality sensors and sensor arrays limit our understanding of spatial and temporal relationships of temperature and ozone—this in turn limits potential mitigation responses via urban greening and/or road traffic modification. 

Wang et al. [2022] piloted a unique community science program in Los Angeles (USA) to measure the daily on-the-ground pattern of urban heat and ozone pollution. Their results may be effective at augmenting similar types of air quality measurements taken from satellites. This work not only connects community members with their local environment, but it builds on a host of emerging community science projects which value the role of “amateur” investigators in expanding the spatial and temporal scales of environmental measurements available to researchers.

Citation: Wang, J., Castro-Garcia, L., Jenerette, G. D., Chandler, M., Ge, C., Kucera, D., et al. (2022). Resolving and predicting neighborhood vulnerability to urban heat and air pollution: Insights from a pilot project of community science. GeoHealth, 6, e2021GH000575.

—Gabriel Filippelli, Editor in Chief, GeoHealth

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