Urbanization has introduced substantial and rapid uncontrolled Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) changes often in the global south, considerably affecting Land Surface Temperature (LST) patterns. Understanding this relationship between LULC changes and LST is crucial for effective urban planning and environmental management, particularly in the face of escalating climate change. This study aims to elucidate the spatiotemporal variations in LST in urban areas compared to LULC changes through remote sensing techniques. The study focused on a peripheral urban area of Phnom Penh (Cambodia) undergoing rapid development, using 462 Landsat images from 2000 to 2021. The analysis employed an exploratory time-series analysis of LST and examined areas with consistently higher LST (hotspots) regarding LULC changes.
The study revealed noticeable spatiotemporal variability in LST (20 to 69°C), predominantly influenced by seasonal patterns and LULC changes. The results showed a robust influence of seasons on LST dynamics, with marked fluctuations aligning with dry and rainy periods. We identified thermal hotspots and found these areas could guide targeted urban planning strategies to mitigate thermal discomfort. Furthermore, examining these hotspots provided insights into how LST varies within different LULCs at the exact geographical locations over the study period. The observed correlation between LULC changes and LST variations underscored the strong impact of urban development on local microclimates. These changes did not manifest uniformly but displayed site-specific responses to LULC changes, warranting the attention of urban planners, policymakers, and researchers.
These findings highlight the importance of considering the local context and specific LULC changes in planning strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of urban-induced LST increases. This study contributes to understanding the relationship between LST and LULC changes, demonstrating the potential for developing new models that account for this complex interplay. While the study focused on a specific urban area, the methodology provides a replicable model for other regions, potentially inspiring future research in various urban contexts.