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Big cities influence the environment around them. For example, urban areas are typically warmer than their surroundings. Cities are strikingly visible in computer models that simulate the Earths land surface. This visualization shows evaporation rates predicted by the Land Information System (LIS) for a day in June 2001. Evaporation is lower in the cities because water tends to run off pavement and into drains, rather than being absorbed by soil and plants from which it later evaporates. Only part of the global computation is shown, focusing on the highly urbanized northeast corridor in the United States, including the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington.
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