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  • Writer's pictureTony Wootton

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.

Touch trees!

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