Where science meets society

October 11, 2015

From Climate Generation, A Will Steger Legacy

University of Minnesota researchers Tracy Twine and Peter Snyder study heat islands in the Twin Cities metro area, where large expanses of “gray infrastructure” create microclimates of slightly elevated temperatures. Climate change is about averages and patterns, and the data Twine and Snyder are collecting at sensor stations across the metro reveal that climate change impacts are at play, exacerbating the heat island effect. In a changing climate, extreme heat events – likely to intensify in both frequency and severity – will place greater stress on vulnerable Minnesotans and public health. “I’m rather frustrated with the pace of change” in addressing climate change, says Snyder, explaining that his frustration is mostly a result of how much he knows about what’s going on thanks to their work. “We need to be doing more, and more quickly,” he concludes.