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Planting More Trees In Cities Could Slash Summer Heat Deaths, Study Finds

Robert Hart of Forbes reports on a new study that links tree cover to decreased heat-related deaths.

The C3 Take
  • Cities get far hotter in the summer than the rural areas surrounding them because they do not have as much green space and roads and buildings absorb heat, a phenomenon known as urban heat island effect.
  • Planting more trees in urban areas could save thousands of lives each year by lowering temperatures in cities, according to the study.
  •  Other research has shown that increased tree cover in cities also improves mental health and decreases violent crimes.
  • Planting more trees is one way that we can reduce emissions and adapt to a warming planet.

“The research identifies a way for city planners to combat the impact of rising temperatures, wrote Kristie Ebi, a professor for health and the environment at the University of Washington, in a linked comment. Such action is especially important as climate change continues to drive temperatures upwards and it must be combined with other initiatives like modifying infrastructure to reduce heat, added Ebi, who was not involved in the research. Ultimately, ‘all heatwave-related deaths are preventable,’ Ebi said.

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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