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Atlanta Heat Watch Campaign

An NIHHIS-CAPA Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign

Atlanta ranks among the most heat-vulnerable cities in the country and is said to be warming more rapidly than all but two other cities in the United States (Lanza & Stone, 2016). Atlanta is further characterized by the greatest level of income inequality of any city nationwide (Bloomberg, 2019).

The combination of rapid warming and a high prevalence of poverty amongst urban residents greatly elevates the risk of heat illness and mortality during heatwave events. With thousands of households estimated to lack access to central air conditioning, and with the clustering of those experiencing energy poverty within majority African-American neighborhoods, Black Atlantans face a greater risk of heat vulnerability than perhaps any other group in the United States.

More About the NOAA NIHHIS Atlanta Campaign

Campaign Date

The one-day heat mapping project will take place on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

Volunteers Needed

ATL Heat Watch SensorWe need your help with our one-day heat mapping project! Volunteers are needed from around the Atlanta area to measure heat at various intervals throughout the day. You will receive a stipend for gas and will be doing critical work to improve our environment and help vulnerable populations. Sign up today!

Be a Part of ATL Heat Watch

Campaign Goals

Through this study, we aim to measure and map the spatial pattern of heat risk with more precision than prior work. We also aim to document how heat risk aligns with other important dimensions of population vulnerability to climate change, including race and ethnicity, income, access to air conditioning in the home, population comorbidities for heat illness, and public investment to-date in climate adaptation. We believe the outcome of this work will yield a unique and valuable dataset for climate justice research.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Establish the spatial pattern of heat vulnerability across Atlanta to inform targeted climate adaptation and resilience initiatives.
  • Raise awareness with the public about heat-related risks and heat vulnerability over Atlanta.
  • Establish a strong network of academic, municipal and community partners to advance urban heat island-related research and policy in Atlanta and other Georgia cities.

Contact Us

Dr. Guanyu Huang

Organizing Team/Partners

Spelman College (LEAD)
Dr. Guanyu Huang
Dr. Fatemeh Shafiei
Dr. Na’Taki Jelks

Georgia Tech
Dr. Kim Cobb
Dr. Brian Stone

Emory University
Dr. Yang Liu
Daniel Rochberg
Rachel Usher

West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
Dr. Na’Taki Jelks

National Weather Service (Peachtree City, GA)
Dylan Lusk
Kyle Thiem

The City of Atlanta

Dr. Shelby Buso

Atlanta-Fulton County Emergency Management Agency
Chayne Sparagowski

DeKalb County Emergency Management Agency
Cary Hollis