Skip to main content

Urban Heat Island

Urban heat island

An urban area where the temperature is commonly 510°F (1512°C) warmer than the surrounding countryside. Effects include reduced heating but higher air conditioning bills. Within cities, this warmth causes spring to arrive one to two weeks earlier and fall foliage to appear one to two weeks later. The chief cause is the high energy use within cities, which ultimately ends up in the atmosphere as waste heat. Also important, however, are the darker surfaces within cities, which absorb more heat, the relative absence of vegetative cooling through transpiration because of fewer trees, and less wind because of building obstructions.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Urban Heat Island." Environmental Encyclopedia. . 18 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Urban Heat Island." Environmental Encyclopedia. . (April 18, 2019).

"Urban Heat Island." Environmental Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.