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Geospatial Techniques, a Superlative Method to Assess Urban Heat Island Intensity: The Case of Abuja Municipal, Nigeria

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: Most cities around the world, including Abuja Municipal are being faced with an undesirable increased in air temperature. This is indicated by an increase in non-porous, non-evaporating, highly thermal conductive surfaces such as concrete and asphalt, which has replaced the vegetation biomass resulting to the formation of urban heat island. There is an increasing need for studies on the changing trend of UHI intensity in cities. This research employed geospatial techniques to determine the urban heat island intensity in Abuja Municipal. Temperature characteristics over twenty selected rural and urban locations in Abuja, FCT were derived from the satellite image of 1986, 2001 and 2016 using the “Extract Multi Values to Point” tool in ArcGIS 10.4. These transects pass over various landscapes with different environmental settings, with the aim of understanding the factors shaping the city’s thermal landscape. The intervals of +15 years were deliberately chosen to ensure uniformity between the datasets. The results of this analysis indicate that UHII has been increasing, from 1986-2016, giving credence to the results of the spatial and temporal analysis of the land surface temperature, indicating the development phases had hit full stride. The different periods under study (1986, 2001 and 2016) were also tested using the student “t” test to determine the significant difference in the land surface temperature values to acknowledge the presence of a substantial urban heat island within the study area. The result reveals the calculated “t” values of 2.50, 3.34, 5.57 of 1986, 2001 and 2016 respectively, are higher than the critical value of “t” at 0.05 being 1.73, thus, revealing the temperature differences between the urban and rural stations to be highly significant, indicating the presence of a strong urban heat island. Also, a slide difference in the temperature was observed with the Rubuchi and Karmajiji rural areas having higher temperature readings than their counterparts in the urban areas, Asokoro and Garki, with readings of −0.4°C and −1.3°C. Since effectiveness of a surface in reducing daytime urban air temperatures depends strongly on the amount of heating avoided, the study recommends preserving and replicating greenery, light coloured facades as measures to reduce the effects of urban heat island.

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