L.A. Climate Study Shows Need for Cooling Effect of Tree Canopies

Los Angeles, CA (June 19, 2012)- The City of Los Angeles has announced findings from one of the most sophisticated regional climate studies ever produced, predicting temperatures for as far out as the years 2041 – 2060. The bottom line: it’s going to get hot.

I Tree LAAccording to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, this research lays the groundwork for local governments, utilities, and others to prepare for climate change. This includes, according to the Mayor, “replacing incentives with building codes requiring ‘green’ and ‘cool’ roofs, cool pavements, tree canopies and parks.”

UCLA climate scientists say the number of days topping 95 degrees each year will jump by as much as five times. For example, downtown Los Angeles will see triple the number of extremely hot days. Some neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley will see a month’s worth of days exceeding 95 degrees a year. In addition to energy, rising temperatures also raise health and water concerns.

The City has set up the website C-Change LA to guide residents about specific tasks they can do to prepare for Climate Change in LA—much as the city is preparing. A clear action for reducing energy use, cooling streets and buildings, and making the air cleaner is planting trees.

The net cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. Trees also sequester carbon dioxide. This climate study provides new urgency for communities to plant and care for trees to support urban forestry, transforming asphalt and concrete-sealed land into healthy ecosystems. 
A variety of nonprofit organizations and government partners are working hard to plant more trees in Los Angeles—check out the great resources below.

Related Resources:
C-Change LA
Los Angeles Times- Study predicts more hot spells in Southern California
Energy, Climate and Water
Trees and Climate Change
The Value of Shade: Energy and Climate Impacts [Video]
Climate Change Impacts: Water & Rain Harvesting [Video]
TreePeople
MillionTreesLA
LA Conservation Corps
Amigos de los Rios