© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Help KOSU answer phones in OKC between March 8 - 14!

Oklahoma City conducting survey on heat perception

The thermal imaging device attached to Sarah Terry-Cobo's iPhone is from a company called FLIR. Darker colors are cooler temperatures whereas lighter colors are hotter.
Britny Cordera
/
StateImpact Oklahoma
The thermal imaging device attached to Sarah Terry-Cobo's iPhone is from a company called FLIR. Darker colors are cooler temperatures whereas lighter colors are hotter.

OKC’s Office of Sustainability held a citizen science project over the summer where volunteers took temperature readings in different parts of the city using their smartphones and imaging technology attached to their cars.

NOAA funds the heat mapping campaign, spearheaded by the Climate Adaption Planning and Analytics Heat Watch (CAPA) and local organizations. Oklahoma is one of 14 states that participated in the campaign this year.

The project has been active since 2017 to compare extreme heat in more urban areas with more rural ones and collect data on the urban heat island effect. According to the EPA, the effect can increase energy costs, air pollution, and heat-related illnesses.

Now, the city is conducting a survey that asks about the community’s experiences with extreme heat and how prepared they feel when temperatures rise as part of ongoing research on how OKC can better prepare for climate change.

According to Sarah Terry Cobo who works for the Office of Sustainability and led this summer’s campaign, the city wants to know where extreme heat affects community members.

“We specifically want to know if it affects Oklahomans more at home, at work, or in transit, and how are they prepared to deal with these effects,” she said.

Terry-Cobo hopes the survey will help the sustainability office work with stakeholders and residents to develop an intervention guidebook.

“This is going to help inform policy and our programs that will help reduce these effects of urban heat island in the city and in particular on those who are most vulnerable,” she said

Results for the campaign should come out later this month, and survey results should come out next spring, Terry-Cobo said.

* indicates required

Britny Cordera has been StateImpact Oklahoma's environment and science reporter since July 2023.
KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.
Related Content