Assessment of Land Surface Temperature Variations and Implications of Land Use/Land Cover Changes: A Case of Malappuram Urban Agglomeration Region, Kerala, India
Keywords:Land Surface Temperature, Spatio-temporal analysis, Thermal hotspots, Urban Heat Stress, Urbanization
Urbanization is taking place faster, and urban air temperatures are gradually rising in all cities across the world. Uncontrolled and unplanned urbanization leads to constant environmental threats and can alter local and regional climates. According to the survey published by Economist Intelligence Unit, in India, Kerala's Malappuram district ranks first among the fastest-growing urban areas globally, with a 44.05% growth rate. Hence, the present study aims to identify the hotspot regions of extreme heat within the Malappuram urban agglomeration region and suggest strategies for its improvement. The split-window algorithm retrieved land surface temperature (LST) for 1991, 1998, 2014, and 2020 using Landsat 5 ETM and Landsat 8 satellite imageries. A rising trend in LST has been detected in the last 30 years, and the mean value has increased by 1.70°C within the region. Among the selected hotspots, an LST increase of 1.84°C was observed for those areas with the highest increase in urban density with decreased vegetation. The increasing impact of urbanization and the subsequent change in land use patterns at the cost of greenery have caused a substantial effect on the local climate. Accordingly, planning and policy directions are proposed for the local government that can help provide awareness to the people through the effective implementation of mitigation measures.
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