Assessment of changes in land use/land cover and land surface temperature in a fast-growing urban agglomeration of Southern India

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Urbanization is the predominant driver of global land use/land cover (LU/LC) changes, resulting in long-lasting or irreversible environmental degradation. The study of LU/LC changes and its impact on land surface temperature (LST), an indicator of climate change, can be effective in environmental management. The significant increment of LST will lead to the emergence of the urban heat island (UHI) effect in urban areas. This study analyzed changes in LU/LC (1988, 2000, and 2020) for Thiruvananthapuram city. As the next step, we have assessed the development of LST, UHI, and UTFVI and predicted future LU/LC changes of the study region using the Multi-Layer Perceptron-Markov Chain (MLP-MC) technique for the years 2030 and 2050. The result revealed that the built-up area expands from 13.2% (1988) to 41.69% (2020), expanding in the east direction. Due to this substantial increase in an urban area, the mean LST for the entire region increased by 3.76 °C over the study period. It also demonstrated a considerable increment in the maximum LST value of the study area from 33.6 °C in 1988 to 37.5 °C in 2020. Predicted LU/LC changes showed a remarkable increase in built-up areas by 8.2% (2030) and 12.16% (2050) compared with 2020. The findings from this study are crucial for urban land-use planners and environmentalists to comprehend the effects of change in LU/LC on LST and draw immediate attention to implementing appropriate policies for the sustainable development of the study area. This study also imparts knowledge of urbanization coupled with the UHI effect, which influenced regional and global climate change. We suggest green space in urban planning, and using highly reflective and thermal resistivity building materials in future construction could enhance the urban climate. This approach of locally regulating temperatures on a global scale serves as an effective measure to tackle the negative impacts of climate change.

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Environment, Development and Sustainability