Variation in Urban Heat Island effect across major Canadian cities

  • Author / Creator
    Duan, Yuwei
  • The escalating global climate change poses a more severe challenge, and Canada, as a high-latitude country, is experiencing heightened Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects. Given the substantial influence of UHIs on urban, regional, and national climates, ecosystems, and human life, researching this issue has become a focal point. This study, based on land use cover data, land surface temperature (LST) data, vegetation cover data, water body index, nighttime light value data, and census data in 2021, employed statistical analysis, correlation analysis, regression analysis, local and global spatial autocorrelation Moran’s I analysis, ordinary least squares (OLS), and geographically weighted regression (GWR) models. It quantitatively investigated the spatiotemporal distribution patterns of monthly, seasonal, and annual average UHI intensity, as well as the influencing factors of UHI at the scale of cities and census tracts for five cities: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

    The research reveals distinct seasonal variations in the UHI for each city. Moreover, the high Urban Heat Island Intensity (UHI) areas showed in the annual average UHI distribution maps are consistent with built-up areas in each city, indicating that as urbanization intensifies, the UHI effect becomes stronger. In addition, the UHI data of all cities have significant spatial autocorrelation, indicating that the UHI phenomenon exists with interdependencies among residential areas in each city. The results showed that Vancouver had the highest GWR model fit. Among all cities, the Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) are closely correlated with the UHI, but significant spatial differences exist both within cities and among different urban areas. However, in most urban areas, there is a notable negative correlation between EVI, NDWI, and UHI. The results of this study can help in developing more environmentally friendly cities and urban planning policies with the aim of reducing the urban heat island effect.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2024
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.