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      Temperature and heat in informal settlements in Nairobi

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          Abstract

          Nairobi, Kenya exhibits a wide variety of micro-climates and heterogeneous surfaces. Paved roads and high-rise buildings interspersed with low vegetation typify the central business district, while large neighborhoods of informal settlements or “slums” are characterized by dense, tin housing, little vegetation, and limited access to public utilities and services. To investigate how heat varies within Nairobi, we deployed a high density observation network in 2015/2016 to examine summertime temperature and humidity. We show how temperature, humidity and heat index differ in several informal settlements, including in Kibera, the largest slum neighborhood in Africa, and find that temperature and a thermal comfort index known colloquially as the heat index regularly exceed measurements at the Dagoretti observation station by several degrees Celsius. These temperatures are within the range of temperatures previously associated with mortality increases of several percent in youth and elderly populations in informal settlements. We relate these changes to surface properties such as satellite-derived albedo, vegetation indices, and elevation.

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          Most cited references11

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          The energetic basis of the urban heat island

          T. Oke (1982)
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            Local Climate Zones for Urban Temperature Studies

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              Synergistic Interactions between Urban Heat Islands and Heat Waves: The Impact in Cities Is Larger than the Sum of Its Parts*

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SoftwareRole: VisualizationRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: SoftwareRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Data curationRole: InvestigationRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Investigation
                Role: Funding acquisitionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: ResourcesRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Funding acquisition
                Role: Funding acquisition
                Role: MethodologyRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                2017
                6 November 2017
                : 12
                : 11
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [2 ] IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Nairobi, Kenya
                [3 ] Department of Meteorology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
                [4 ] Department of Population Health Sciences, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America
                [5 ] Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, The Hague, Netherlands
                [6 ] American Red Cross, Washington, D.C., United States of America
                [7 ] Kenya Red Cross Society, Nairobi, Kenya
                Universidade de Vigo, SPAIN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-17-20277
                10.1371/journal.pone.0187300
                5673164
                29107977
                da5cbf8d-19ba-4125-8c15-c2d4f200a6d6
                © 2017 Scott et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 11, Tables: 1, Pages: 17
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100006744, American Red Cross;
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000066, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences;
                Award ID: R01ES023029
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000001, National Science Foundation;
                Award ID: DGE-1069213
                We received funding from the American Red Cross, National Science Foundation IGERT grant DGE-1069213, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grant R01ES023029. The American Red Cross selected the city of Nairobi as a location of study and suggested informal settlements as locations worth of investigation, but did not select the sites within the city. The other funders had no role in study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Meteorology
                Humidity
                Physical Sciences
                Materials Science
                Material Properties
                Surface Properties
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Facilities
                Weather Stations
                Earth Sciences
                Atmospheric Science
                Climatology
                Albedo
                Physical Sciences
                Astronomical Sciences
                Planetary Sciences
                Albedo
                Engineering and Technology
                Equipment
                Measurement Equipment
                Thermometers
                Physical Sciences
                Materials Science
                Material Properties
                Surface Properties
                Surface Temperature
                Earth Sciences
                Seasons
                Summer
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Population Biology
                Population Metrics
                Death Rates
                Custom metadata
                The temperature and humidity data collected as part of this study is available on Github at github.com/gottscott/cityheat/nairobi/data. Temperature data from the Dagoretti weather station can be downloaded from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) at https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/.

                Uncategorized

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