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Relevant for: Environment | Topic: Environmental Degradation - GHGs, Ozone Depletion and Climate Change

As severe heatwave grappled most parts of the country, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently released images that show “heat islands" in and around the national capital Delhi.

The US space agency has deployed a satellite instrument called Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment On Space Station (ECOSTRESS), which measures temperatures of the ground from space. It was used to record temperatures in the city and same was later released on social media. The heat islands are marked in red.

Cities are often markedly warmer than the countryside, and that's critical in a heat wave. This image, taken by @NASA's ECOSTRESS instrument on the @Space_Station, shows "heat islands" in and near Delhi, India, with nighttime temps up to 102° F (40° hotter than nearby fields).

In a press note, NASA said, this image, taken shortly before local midnight on May 5, shows urban areas and agricultural lands northwest of Delhi (the large red area in the lower right) that are home to about 28 million people. The image covers about 4,800 square miles (12,350 square kilometers).

Cities are usually markedly warmer than the surrounding countryside due to human activities and the materials used in the built environment. The image clearly delineates these urban “heat islands." Nighttime temperatures in Delhi and several smaller villages were above 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius), peaking at about 102 degrees F (39 degrees C), while the rural fields nearby had cooled to around 60 degrees F (15 degrees C), it added.

This means city dwellers are experiencing considerably higher temperatures than the average temperatures reported for their regions.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and manages the ECOSTRESS mission for the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.



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