Data sources used to determine Heat Factors

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Heat Factors are the outcome of the First Street Foundation Extreme Heat Model and are derived from the inputs that go into our model.

Heat Factors are outputs of the First Street Foundation Extreme Heat Model (FSF-EHM) and are based on the inputs that go into the model. These inputs refer to the datasets used to determine a specific location’s exposure to extreme heat. To promote further research efforts, the majority of inputs come from open-source datasets from the U.S. Federal government. Additional local and commercial sources were also used. 

Types of data sources used

Heat Factor takes a variety of public data sources into consideration, including a number of open government datasets. 

Weather data sources

  • Landsat 8 Land Surface Temperature dataset (2014-2020) provided by the US Geological Survey (USGS)
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Global Historical Climatology Network Daily dataset 
  • Global Summary of the Month (GSOM) provided by the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Heat energy cost data sources

  • State-level energy costs distributed by the Energy Information Administration (EIA)
  •  2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) provided by the EIA

Climate data sources 

  • IPCC CMIP5 Global Climate Models (GCMs) using Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5
  • MACAv2 - Daily downscaled CMIP5 RCP4.5 model projections (2046-2055) 

General data sources

  • Global Surface Water dataset from the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC)
  • The National Elevation Dataset (NED) is managed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • 2016 United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Land Cover Database (NLCD)
  • Property-level parcel data is sourced from county-level property assessor records which are collected and standardized by Lightbox, a 3rd party data provider
  • Building footprints - Mapbox, sourced from Microsoft Bing and OpenStreetMaps

The First Street Foundation Extreme Heat Model is a first-of-its-kind, nationwide, spatial temperature model that shows a specific location’s exposure to extreme heat events based on the temperature, topography, land cover, and humidity in the surrounding area. It builds off of decades of peer-reviewed research and forecasts how heat effects will change over time due to changes in the environment. 

Use Risk Factor to find property-specific heat risk assessments for any U.S. address.

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