Researchers measure trees' ability to lower urban temperature

Dutch researchers have attempted to quantify the role of trees in locally mitigating the nocturnal urban heat island (UHI) effect.

Image: Tobias Abel
Image: Tobias Abel

The researchers from the Free University of Amsterdam estimated volumes of trees within the city via a 3D tree model dataset derived from LIDAR data and modelled with geospatial technology. They then measured air temperature at over 100 different points on a "relatively warm" summer night.

The results indicate that tree volume has the highest impact on UHI within a 40m radius, and that increasing tree canopy volume by 60,000m3 in this area leads to a 1ºC reduction in temperature.

"We tested an empirical model, using multi-linear regression analysis, to explain the contribution of tree volume to UHI while also taking into account urbanization degree and sky view factor at each location," they explained.

The findings are published in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

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