Trees and Climate Change - About That Tree (July, 2020)
I am now the proud owner of a vehicle which reads the outside temperature as you drive along, something the Barina could never do without you actually holding a thermometer out the window. Anyway, I’ve been fascinated to observe the different temperatures as I drive through different altitudes and environments.
Driving back to Maleny from Brisbane, I was startled to notice that when I left the Bruce Highway and entered the Pine forest at Beerburrum, the temperature suddenly plummeted by 3 degrees, a drop of roughly 15%! ‘Global warming’, I thought! Hello!
Whilst not as popular now as COVID-19, climate change remains an actual thing, and the answer appears to be staring us in the face. Plant trees. Lots of them. Fairly simple, right?
Trees are, in a sense, standing columns of water, and, as such, provide a damping and moderating effect on temperature, as opposed to plain ol’ air which fluctuates wildly as the heating or cooling source changes.
I also noticed the stored heat of the bitumen and concrete caused the temperature to increase 2 degrees driving from the outskirts of Brisbane to the city centre, another opportunity to employ trees as a microclimate modifier.
With an intelligent design, trees can also be used to condition the climate of our homes, blocking unfavourable winds and providing a temperature damping effect, understanding that the size of larger species may need to be managed.