Assessment of U.S. Urban Surface Temperature Using GOES-16 and GOES-17 Data: Urban Heat Island and Temperature Inequality

This study utilizes hourly land surface temperature (LST) data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) to analyze the seasonal and diurnal characteristics of surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) across 120 largest U.S. cities and their surroundings. Distinct patterns emerge in the classification of seasonal daytime SUHII and nighttime SUHII. Specifically, the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and albedo (ALB) play pivotal roles in influencing these temperature variations. The diurnal cycle of SUHII further reveals different trends, suggesting that climate conditions, urban and nonurban land covers, and anthropogenic activities during nighttime hours affect SUHII peaks. Exploring intracity LST dynamics, the study reveals a significant correlation between urban intensity (UI) and LST, with LST rising as UI increases. Notably, populations identified as more vulnerable by the social vulnerability index (SVI) are found in high UI regions. This results in discernible LST inequality, where the more vulnerable communities are under higher LST conditions, possibly leading to higher heat exposure. This comprehensive study accentuates the significance of tailoring city-specific climate change mitigation strategies, illuminating LST variations and their intertwined societal implications.

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