"The earth beneath our major cities is heating up, morphing in ways that could
damage buildings, bridges, and transport systems.
Just ask any passenger sweltering on the London Underground or New York City
subway, and they'll perspire telling you about how underground transport
systems are spewing heat.
As that heat diffuses into the ground, it's raising ground temperatures, which
new research shows has shifted soils underneath one US city ever so slightly –
but more than most buildings are built to withstand.
Using the Chicago Loop district as a case study, and three years of data from a
network of wireless temperature sensors, civil engineer Alessandro Rotta Loria
of Northwestern University in Illinois built a 3D computer model to simulate
how rising temperatures have impacted the subsurface environment.
His simulations span a century, from 1951 (the year Chicago completed its
subway tunnels) to 2051, and reveal "a silent yet potentially problematic
impact of subsurface urban heat islands on the performance of civil structures
and infrastructures," Rotta Loria writes in his peer-reviewed paper.
Only recently we learned how New York City could be sinking under the weight of
its skyscrapers. Add heat to the mix, and the ground beneath cities can slowly
shift, settle, and subside as soils dry out and compact.
Aside from bustling subway tunnels, that heat comes from underground pipelines
and electrical cables which crisscross our cities; the ground is studded with
the footings of buildings and parking garages that also leak heat."
Via Rixty Dixet.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics