• Open Access

Crowdsourcing urban air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures



[1] Accurate air temperature observations in urban areas are important for meteorology and energy demand planning. They are indispensable to study the urban heat island effect and the adverse effects of high temperatures on human health. However, the availability of temperature observations in cities is often limited. Here we show that relatively accurate air temperature information for the urban canopy layer can be obtained from an alternative, nowadays omnipresent source: smartphones. In this study, battery temperatures were collected by an Android application for smartphones. A straightforward heat transfer model is employed to estimate daily mean air temperatures from smartphone battery temperatures for eight major cities around the world. The results demonstrate the enormous potential of this crowdsourcing application for real-time temperature monitoring in densely populated areas.