It’s Not Your Imagination, the Middle of a City Is Hotter Than Anywhere Else

It’s called the “urban heat island effect.”

This story was originally published by Grist and appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The year is 2018. Cities are hot. Really, really hot. Thanks to something called the “urban heat island effect,” cities like Los Angeles and New York are literally the hottest places to live—and climate change is only warming things up more.

An epic heat wave wreaked havoc across LA this past week, leaving more than 26,000 residents without power after temperatures spiked to 109 degrees downtown. The good news is that cities are taking action to stem the serious public health threats that come along with extreme heat.