Combatting the Urban Heat Island Effect: What Trees Are Suitable for Atlanta’s Current and Future Climate?
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Among many benefits, trees combat the urban heat island (UHI) effect in cities. As the climate changes and temperatures rise, some cities are looking to increase urban vegetation to minimize the effects of UHIs. Through evapotranspiration and shade benefits, urban trees are vital tools to making cities more resilient to extreme heat. Unfortunately, the very tools to combat this rising heat may also fall victim to it. As temperatures warm, certain tree species will not survive their future climates. While more city governments and tree-planting organizations realize the climate benefits of trees, it is also critical that they anticipate the changing adaptability of native tree species.