Ghost towns may generate their own microclimates, according to one University of Colorado scientist.
This study investigates whether declining populations affect local temperature patterns, creating a reverse urban heat island effect. This reversal has been demonstrated to exist in former Colorado mining towns whose populations have dramatically decreased in the last century.
It's not just an American West thing:
The research is currently being expanded into the "Rust Belt" regions of the U.S., focusing on how declining factory emissions (due to shutdowns) have altered the urban heat island effect.
Rust Belt Gothic.
Reminds me of that classic ghost story trope of the ominous cold spot.