These resources from the European Space Agency climate change initiative education resource pack allow students to learn how a built up environment can lead to the urban heat island effect, so called urban hotspots. This phenomenon leads to temperature rises in cities that exceed those in surrounding rural areas, often compounded by the materials used to build the cities. Earth observations can monitor this and help reduce the effects in the future.
The first activity enables students to study heat maps of a city and learn to read and analyse them to create their own heat map of a local urban environment. The second activity requires computer access as calculations based upon equations for black body radiation and emissivity values are used to illustrate the effects of different materials used to build city structures upon the land surface temperatures. Finally, the 'Climate from Space App' is used to produce a report that outlines the trends in temperatures measured in rural versus urban environments. All of the lessons have accompanying teacher notes and class worksheets based upon a lesson of one hour duration.