BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Assistant professor at University at Buffalo Nick Rajkovich says he gets some strange looks when he rides his bike around, but this bike isn’t just for getting place to place, it’s gather weather data for his research.
“Basically what it has is a full weather station on the bicycle,” explains Dr. Rajkovich, “so you take it and peddle it from location to location, and as you’re riding the bicycle, it takes measurements and downloads them to a computer.”
Complete with temperature and humidity sensors on the front and back, a GPS tracker, and a camera to take pictures of the sky, he is using this bike to research the phenomenon called the urban heat island effect. Cities tend to be 3-5 degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside, and that can cause issues in terms of air conditioning systems, or people having health-related conditions, so his research is to understand a little more of whats causing the urban heat island effect.
As for the reason it’s on a bike, it allows him to take multiple measurements over several locations, and takes more accurate measurements than a car would. And Dr. Rajkovich is actually hoping his research will help save lives.
“The thing I’m primarily concerned about is heat waves actually kill more people than any other natural disaster, so understanding where there are areas of higher heat exposure can hopefully reduce morbitidy and mortality.”