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Does the urban heat island affect global temperatures?

One criticism of the trend in rising temperatures put forth by skeptics is that recent temperatures are being pushed up by growing cities, which tend to be warmer than the surrounding countryside. Even in my hometown of Athens GA you can see temperature differences of up to 10 degrees F from downtown to the rural areas outside the city on calm, clear nights.

But most stations that are used in creating the global temperature statistics are rural stations which have minimal impacts from the heat associated with pavement and high energy use, so this is not a good explanation for why temperatures are rising across the earth. What’s more scary is that if the temperatures in primarily rural areas are rising, then the temperatures in growing cities is increasing much faster, and that is where most of us live now, making future temperature impacts worse. You can read more at at