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Climate Injustice in Winter Storm Uri: Insights from Mobility and Satellite Big Data

Dr. Lei Zou from the GEAR Lab recently published a collaborative article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction providing a comprehensive understanding about the impacts of Winter Storm Uri and its impact disparities on different population groups in Texas. The details of this publication can be found below:


Zhou, Ryan Zhenqi, et al. "Understanding the disparate impacts of the 2021 Texas winter storm and power outages through mobile phone location data and nighttime light images." International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (2024): 104339. https://doi.org/10.1080/15230406.2024.2323489


This research provides detailed information about the impacts of this winter storm on different census tracts in Harris County over the three stages using cell phone mobility data and nighttime light satellite images. We find disparate impacts of this winter storm on different population groups, especially on vulnerable population groups during the initial-hit stage. Overall, this work offers a residential perspective at a fine spatial-temporal granularity for improved understanding of the disparate impacts caused by Winter Storm Uri on local communities.


Figure 1. Study Area (Harris County and the studied census tracts)


Figure 2. An overview of the study design


Figure 3. An overview of the impacts of Winter Storm Uri on Harris County over the three stages.


(a) Initial-hit Satge (b) During-hit Stage

(c) Recovery Stage

Figure 4. Impacts of the winter storm in the different stages quantified by the average percentage changes of home-dwelling time of census tracts.


Congratulations! We look forward to hearing more achievements from GEAR Lab! Gig'em!

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Geospatial Exploration and Resolution (GEAR) Lab

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