Energy / Climate Change

September 10, 2008


Environmental Effects Caused by Heat Islands in Tokyo Metropolitan Area Quantified in Monetary Terms

Keywords: Climate Change NGO / Citizen University / Research institute 

During the subcommittee, "Roles of Meteorological Research on the Sustainable and Safe Urban Environment," at the 2008 Meeting of the Meteorological Society of Japan held from May 18 to 21, 2008, in Yokohama, Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) presented its research results. According to the presentation, the environmental impact in 2002 has an estimated financial cost of 4.4 billion yen (about U.S.$41.9 million).

This figure was calculated by quantifying the environmental impact of heat island phenomena in Tokyo's 23 wards with respect to five categories (sleep disorder, heat stress, heat stroke, cold stress and energy consumption by air conditioning) using the framework of the Japanese-version life-cycle impact assessment method based on endpoint modeling (LIME), which is one of the methods used for life-cycle assessment (LCA). Among the five categories, the most significant environmental impact was caused by sleep disorder: sleep disorder, 11.4 billion yen (about U.S.$108.6 million); heat stress, 0.87 billion yen (about U.S.$8.3 million); heat stroke, 0.18 billion yen (about U.S.$1.71 million); cold stress, minus 8.0 billion yen (about minusU.S.$76.2 million); and air-conditioning power consumption, 0.028 billion yen (about U.S.$2.7 million) for cooling and minus 0.047 billion yen (about minusU.S.$448,000 for heating. Thus, the net total became roughly 4.4 billion yen (about U.S.$4.19 million).

The heat island phenomenon has various impacts on humans, including heat stroke, sleep disorder and increased energy consumption; however, the impact of each category has not yet been quantified. According to the presentation, LIME can be used to quantitatively compare the effects of mitigating temperature increases and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a result of measures to combat the heat island phenomenon. Such comparisons will then lead to appropriate measures that can effectively reduce environmental impact.
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Posted: 2008/09/10 11:19:46 PM