Planting trees in cities can reduce land surface temperatures by up to 12 degrees Celsius during the summer, according to researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers have revealed that, on average, cities with trees were up to four times cooler than similarly-sized cities with little to no green cover.
In the past, research has shown that green spaces can help reduce high ambient temperatures in cities during the summer months.As the vast expanses of concrete and asphalt in cities tend to absorb a lot of heat, temperatures in areas without greenery tend to skyrocket.
For the latest study, the researchers analysed hundreds of European cities using satellite imagery and land surface temperature sensors to figure out the impact of greenery on land surface areas instead of ambient or air temperatures.
They found that urban areas with green cover tended to have cooler surface temperatures when compared to similarly-sized urban areas which had no green cover.The researchers found the most difference in temperatures in Southern Europe, with trees helping cities to stay nearly four times cooler.
Interestingly, for the purposes of comparison, the researchers also analysed rural areas and found little to no difference.One reason for this might be the lack of concrete or asphalt that can absorb the heat.
The trees in cities help keep the ground cooler by providing shade and helping to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by materials like concrete, cement and asphalt.
This highlights the importance of having green spaces and tree cover in urban areas, especially as global temperatures continue to