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Like other volunteers on the steamy Friday afternoon last week, the Wilders were twisting and turning through the streets of Kansas City in the name of a project coordinated by Fengpeng Sun, a climate scientist and assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The project gathered tens of thousands of data points in one day.
Funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Kansas City effort is part of a larger nationwide campaign to map urban pockets where temperatures can be nearly 10 degrees higher than outer lying areas.
These “heat islands” can be harmful to both people and places, and Sun hopes that data from the heat mapping project can help local government officials devise mitigation strategies. The city’s Office of Environmental Quality is a partner in the project.