Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Atmospheric Sciences



First Advisor

Yuyu Zhou


The Urban heat island (UHI) is a well-known phenomenon in an urban area where the urban core areas experience higher temperature than the surrounding rural areas. It has numerous implications among which building energy consumption is a prominent one. This study investigates the UHI effects on the building energy consumption for cooling in the urban areas of the Continental United States (CONUS). To account for UHI effects, long-term differences in mean annual cooling (CDDs) between observations from Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) and the urbanization-insensitive National Center for Environmental Protection-National Center for Atmospheric Research 50-year Reanalysis (NNR) form the years 2008 to 2017 are used. Cooling energy consumption data from surveyed buildings by the Energy Information Administration were used to identify the relationship between cooling energy consumption intensity and CDDs and other covariates related to building characteristics. Using universal kriging and observed minus reanalysis (OMR) method, it has been found that there will be up to 2,509 additional cooling degree days annually in the urban areas due to the UHI effect. Quantile regression results using CDDs and other covariate show that show that a unit increase in CDD will cause an average increase in median cooling energy use intensity by 2.1 BTU/sq.ft. (residential) and 2.5 BTU/sq.ft. (commercial). The mean increase in cooling energy consumption in selected building type, building construction year, and the number of occupants is 28.1% for commercial buildings and 22.9% for residential buildings in all Census Divisions.

Copyright Owner

Saad Bin Tarik



File Format


File Size

68 pages

Included in

Geology Commons