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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Shoreline cities are influenced by both urban-scale processes and land-water interactions, with consequences on heat exposure and its disparities. Heat exposure studies over these cities have focused on air and skin temperature, even though moisture advection from water bodies can also modulate heat stress. Here, using an ensemble of model simulations covering Chicago, we find that Lake Michigan strongly reduces heat exposure (2.75°C reduction in maximum average air temperature in Chicago) and heat stress (maximum average wet bulb globe temperature reduced by 0.86°C) during the day, while urbanization enhances them at night (2.75 and 1.57°C increases in minimum average air and wet bulb globe temperature, respectively). We also demonstrate that urban and lake impacts on temperature (particularly skin temperature), including their extremes, and lake-to-land gradients, are stronger than the corresponding impacts on heat stress, partly due to humidity-related feedback. Likewise, environmental disparities across community areas in Chicago seen for skin temperature are much higher (1.29°C increase for maximum average values per $10,000 higher median income per capita) than disparities in air temperature (0.50°C increase) and wet bulb globe temperature (0.23°C increase). The results call for consistent use of physiologically relevant heat exposure metrics to accurately capture the public health implications of urbanization.

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© 2023 Battelle Memorial Institute. UChicago Argonne, LLC and The Authors. GeoHealth published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Geophysical Union. Publisher’s version of record:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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