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Regional Focus

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Google Earth Timelapse - Tokyo's Heat Island Effect

Author: Google Earth
Grades: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, Health, Climate Action
Resource Types:
  • Interactive Media
  • Data
  • This interactive resource lets students explore 3-D maps, images, text, and data about the heat-island effect in Tokyo.
  • Students will explore some of the reasons for the increasing urban temperatures and discover some of the solutions they are implementing in the city. 

Teaching Tips


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

Additional Prerequisites

  • Using a slower internet connection or wireless internet may slow down the images while loading.
  • 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 Urban Heat Island effect. The resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.12.6-8 Explain how global changes in population distribution patterns affect changes in land use in particular places.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • 3-5-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.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.


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  • This provides many ways to link the topics of global warming and climate change to other subjects!
    8 months ago