Scientists look for help to exactly measure Columbia’s heat

May 28, 2022 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Scientists are looking for volunteers in Columbia to help them study the differences in heat across short distances in the city.

A sensor will be put on the car window of volunteers who will then drive certain routes to get exact temperature readings, University of South Carolina professor Kirstin Dow told WLTX-TV.

Dow is part of a mapping project paid for by the National Integrated Heat Health Information System to identify and research heat islands, or small areas that are hotter than their surroundings just feet away.

That data can help determine the best materials to use for buildings or ground cover or how important trees are to cooling off as temperatures are expected to get hotter.

A similar mapping project was done in Charleston last summer and determined the influence of the sea breeze doesn’t extend far inland, said Scott Curtis, the director of the Near Center for Climate Studies, which helped Charleston with the study.

“One of the areas that was the hottest was the port. And not because it was near the water — because there is lots of asphalt, lots of concrete, there’s just no vegetation at all,” Curtis said.