CT Summer Heat Wave Webinar: learning from heat sensor research and implications for future climate extremes

Webinar: September 27, 12-1:00 p.m.

Heat waves that Connecticut residents experienced this summer are expected to become more frequent and severe, which can be dangerous to human health and require additional understanding and planning. As the summer season comes to a close, CIRCA hosted this webinar for participants to learn about:

  • CIRCA’s heat sensor summer research project, which recorded summer temperature variability in Norwalk and Danbury and examined linkages to surrounding urbanization. “Heat index data” was collected by partnering with municipal staff to deploy wireless heat sensors mounted on electric poles or trees in these two communities. Sensors are recording temperature, relative humidity, and dew point temperature at the street level. Read Norwalk news and Danbury news coverage on this topic to learn more.  Presenter: CIRCA Assistant Director of Research, Dr. Yaprak Onat
  • How the City of Norwalk is taking steps to proactively address the threat of extreme heat waves.  CIRCA’s sensor data is being used to help the city identify vulnerable areas to heat, especially among disproportionately affected communities.  Policies can include where to place cooling centers as well as understanding how certain traffic flows affect heat output.  Presenter: Aniella Fignon, Public Health Program Associate, Norwalk Health Department.
  • Why zoning ordinances offer an opportunity to shape land use policy with the intent of creating communities more resilient to heat. For example, resilient design standards can include the use of reflective materials or vegetation on roofing to lower temperatures in and around buildings. Tree canopy protections, native landscaping, and vegetative buffers not only lead to lower temperatures, but these policies also serve to slow runoff and reduce flooding, encourage recreation, and boost energy efficiency by lowering cooling needs. Presenter: Louanne Cooley, Legal Fellow, UConn School of Law.

To learn more about the heat sensor study, listen at the ~11min mark for this week’s interview of CIRCA’s Dr. Yaprak Onat on the Lisa Wexler Show.

Other resources on this topic include: