S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
An aerial view of a housing development.

Charleston Heat-Health Research Project

The Charleston Heat-Health Research Project (CHHRP) was created by a group of health professionals, climate scientists, city planners, students and researchers to learn more about heat impacts in the community.

What Are We Doing?

We want to learn about heat in the Gadsden Green Community and measure the heat throughout the exterior of the housing area.

Why is it Important?

Heat has a serious impact on health and well-being for everyone, particularly people with other health impacts, or who work outdoors, are elderly, or are poor. The heat waves are more frequent and longer.

A chart showing that predicted climate data matches observed data, and that the temperature will trend sharply upward in the future.

Effects of Heat

Charleston is hot and humid like many other places in the south. Increased heat exposure impacts health.

Annually, heat kills more people than floods, lightning, tornadoes or winter cold.

In the past 20 years, as the planet heats up and the U.S. population gets older, there has been a 54% increase in heat-related deaths in people over 65.

People with heart or breathing problems and people with diabetes are more vulnerable to heat.

Heat also leads to extreme rainfall, which leads to more flooding. Flooding may cause power outages (no air conditioning). Many flood adaptation measures can also help with heat. 

Beat the Heat!

Find the public places in your area with air conditioning where you can go to cool off.

A map of the Charleston peninsula showing hot spots.

Why Gadsden Green?

Last year CHHRP and others conducted a heat study on the Charleston peninsula. Gadsden Green is a hot spot.

CHHRP would like to know what features make it so hot so that adaptations can be made to reduce the heat and its impacts on community members.

What to Expect?

Near the end of August, 2022, CHHRP scientists, students, and volunteer community members will record hot temperature in the community, identify building and landscape materials that make the heat feel worse.

Outdoor temperatures will be recorded by Kestral Wet-Bulb-Globe Temperature devices and FLIR Infrared devices. Some of these will be on tripods, others will be hand held and connected to cellphones. These can be aimed at specific surfaces to determine the heat in that location.

An infrared display from the FLIR device shows the temperature of a picnic table and the surrounding area.
The FLIR device is a small metal square connected to a regular smartphone.

How Can You Help?

Community scientists will receive a gift card for their help.

  • Community members may become community scientists and assist with collecting data.
  • CHHRP scientists will provide a training for community members to see the equipment in action.
  • Community members can share information about heat, its impacts on health and about the project.
  • Community members can provide information on the hot spots in the community.


Let Us Know Where It’s Hot!

In your opinion, what areas of the Gadsden Green Community are the hottest?

Email Susan Lovelace: susan.lovelace@scseagrant.org to let us know.

Questions and Volunteering

To volunteer, or for other questions, contact: Susan Lovelace, Executive Director, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, 843-953-2078

For information on the research, contact: Scott Curtis, Director, The Citadel James B. Near, Jr. Center for Climate Studies , 843-953-6781

For information on the City’s work on heat, contact: Dale Morris, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Charleston, 843-817-7854

Our Partners

The Citadel.
University of South Carolina.
Climate Adaptation Partners.

With participation by Gadsden Green neighborhood residents.