Thursday, March 26, 2009

Artificial Turf: Heat Islands

Hot enough for you? Well, get ready for summer, because as our natural turf playing fields are replaced with artificial turf, the temperatures will be rising. Why?
Because artificial turf fields are well known for their great ability to trap heat, unlike natural sod, which actually cools our planet; and our neighborhoods. Artificial turf creates ‘heat islands’ with temperatures of up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. But don’t take my word for it; here’s what Dr. Stuart Gaffin, a professor at Columbia University has found out in his studies. Gaffin, an Associate Research Scientist at that university’s Center for Climate Systems Research, initially began his studies researching how trees and parks cool the city. In his research he noticed an odd phenomenon; heat islands, which he initially assumed were caused by large buildings. He looked further, and lo and behold, the ‘heat islands’ were caused by artificial turf.
NASA Satellite Photo, August 14, 2002, New York City,
shows heat islands, the red squares at left. What caused
them? The photo on the right shows the lower left to be
a building and rooftop. And to the right? You guessed it,
an artificial turf playing field.

Thanks to MCPS, the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education and your County Council members, ALL the natural sod playing fields in our high schools will be replaced with artificial turf.

So crank up the A/C folks, it’s going to be a long, hot summer. Tomorrow…chemicals in artificial turf...but they're safe, right?

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