Austin – Introduction
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IT gets hot in Texas. The state’s capital, Austin, experienced 90 days at temperatures higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit in 2011, and each summer, the city basks in sunlight 75 percent of the time. With city buildings and paved streets reflecting back this sunshine and heat, temperatures in Austin can be two to nine degrees hotter than in the surrounding countryside — a phenomenon known as an urban heat island. In 2001, Austin’s city council recognized this problem in the capital and passed a resolution implementing a Heat Island Containment Policy, which created new initiatives for combating extra heat in the city. Many of these initiatives revolved around trees, some of nature’s best temperature regulators.
References National Weather Service Regional Office. Southern Region Headquarters. 100 Degree Days for the Southern Plains for 2011. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/climate/?n=100degree2011 (accessed Aug. 16, 2012).  National Weather Service Regional Office. Southern Region Headquarters. Austin Climate Summary. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/ewx/aus/ausclisum.pdf (accessed Aug. 16, 2012).  Austin City Council. Resolution No. 010517-27 Heat Island Mitigation. Adopted May 17, 2001.