The Meteorological Agency has developed new formulas aimed at investigating the causes of the “heat island effect,” a phenomenon in which urban areas are hotter than rural areas.

Officials said Thursday the agency will use the formulas to come up with a new system to study the heat island effect starting next fiscal year.

The methods were developed by the Metrological Institute in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The agency will use them to collect data in a 200-sq.-km area divided into 1-sq.-km sections.

The topographical and weather information for each section and other data, including the amount of heat coming from factories, will be input into the new system and the formulas will be used to come up with heat distribution patterns, the officials said.

The agency hopes this will allow it gain a better understanding of what factors are behind the phenomenon.

The agency is planning to use the system first in Tokyo and six nearby prefectures and then possibly in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe in the near future.

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