Heat waves aren't just a source of discomfort. They're the nation's deadliest weather hazard, accounting for a fifth of all deaths caused by natural hazards in the U.S.
Most of the time, low-income people who live in cities face the biggest risks tied to extreme heat. That's because urban areas, especially neighborhoods with few parks or yards, absorb high amounts of solar radiation during the day – keeping night temperatures higher than in suburbs and rural areas.
I'm an atmospheric scientist who studies urban environments in an interdisciplinary way that combines science, engineering and social sciences. I belong to a team of researchers and other professionals that's looking into one solution we believe will help cool off homes, businesses and other structures all summer long: green roofs.
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