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Photo by Louie Martinez via Unsplash

Database Provider


Google Earth


8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Tokyo's Heat Island Effect

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  • This interactive resource lets students explore 3D maps, images, text, and data about the heat island effect in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Students will explore some of the reasons for the increasing urban temperatures and discover some of the solutions the city is implementing in an effort to reduce the heat.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource explains how wind flow, heat exhaust, green spaces, heat-reflecting coatings, and proximity to a large body of water can affect the temperature of a city.
  • Students will learn why Tokyo's temperature has increased so much more than the rest of Japan.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Using a slower Internet connection or wireless Internet may cause the images to load slowly.
  • Students should be familiar with line graphs and reading maps.


Scientist Notes
The heat island effect is another mechanism that contributes to average global temperatures. The chart displayed in the resource is accurate and appropriate to explain the changes in mean temperature over time due to the urban heat island effect. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 8.ESS3.4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS.ESS3.4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • 5.ETS1.2 Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
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