Author archives

Yuyu Zhou - Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Iowa State University Yuyu Zhou's research interests lie in the applications of geospatial technologies including remote sensing, GIS, geovisualization, spatial analytic tools, and integrated assessment modeling to understanding the problems of global environmental change (e.g., urbanization, urban heat island, ecosystem phenology, energy use and GHG emissions) and their potential solutions. His research focus has always been in quantifying spatiotemporal patterns of environmental change and developing modeling mechanisms to bridge the driving forces (both natural and socioeconomic factors) and consequences of environmental change so that the impacts of human activities on environment can be effectively measured, modeled, and evaluated.

Light pollution is disrupting the seasonal rhythms of plants and trees, lengthening pollen season in US cities

City lights that blaze all night are profoundly disrupting urban plants’ phenology – shifting when their buds open in the spring and when their leaves change colors and drop in the fall. New research Yuyu Zhou coauthored shows how nighttime lights are lengthening the growing season in cities, which can affect everything from allergies to local economies. In the study, Zhous and his colleagues analyzed trees and shrubs at about 3,000 sites in U.S. cities to see how they responded under different lighting conditions over a five-year period. Plants use the natural day-night cycle as a signal of seasonal change along with temperature.

Subjects: Climate Change, Energy, Environmental Law, Healthcare