Ciudades horno

COPENHAGUE – Actualmente se puede ver lo que el calentamiento global le hará a la larga al planeta. Para asomarnos al futuro, basta ir a Beijing, Atenas, Tokio, o, de hecho, a casi cualquier ciudad de la Tierra.

La mayor parte de las zonas urbanas del mundo ya han experimentado aumentos de la temperatura mucho más drásticos que los 2.6°C previstos para los próximos cien años a causa del calentamiento global.

Es muy fácil de comprender. En un día cálido en Nueva York, los habitantes se tienden en el pasto de Central Park, no en los estacionamientos de asfalto ni en las banquetas de concreto. El tabique, el concreto y el asfalto –los elementos básicos de los que están construidas las ciudades—absorben mucho más calor del sol que la vegetación en el campo. En una ciudad hay mucho más asfalto que pasto, por lo que el aire que está encima de la ciudad se calienta. Este efecto, llamado “isla de calor urbano”, se descubrió en Londres a principios del siglo XIX.

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