Trees can help shade Sacramento from climate change, but which are most likely to survive?
A team of researchers at UC Davis this year will study 10 different species of trees in Sacramento to determine which have the best chance of thriving as global average temperatures rise. On a hot summer day, highly populated cities can be much hotter than surrounding rural areas. Suburban neighborhoods tend to have far more shade-producing trees, which act as natural air conditioners. Multiple studies have shown that communities with a healthy tree population can be anywhere from 5 to 12 degrees cooler than more exposed urban centers. As climate change threatens to make our hottest days even hotter in the years ahead, scientists want to make sure that people living in cities have trees that are strong enough to withstand the challenges of heat waves and intensifying drought.