Trees and Comfort (08-02-17)

Urban trees have an important effect on how weather is experienced.  Researchers from the University of British Columbia have found that “Even a single urban tree can help moderate wind speeds and keep pedestrians comfortable as they walk down the street, according to a new . . . study that also found losing a single tree can increase wind pressure on nearby buildings and drive up heating costs. . . . ‘We found that removing all trees can increase wind speed by a factor of two, which would make a noticeable difference to someone walking down the street. For example, a 15 km/h wind speed is pleasant, whereas walking in 30 km/h wind is more challenging,’ said lead author Marco Giometto. . . .Trees also moderated the impact of wind pressure on buildings, particularly when it goes through small gaps in and between buildings. ‘. . .  removing all the trees around buildings drove up the building’s energy consumption by as much as 10 per cent in winter and 15 per cent in summer,’ said Giometto.  . . . even bare trees in the winter months can moderate airflow and wind pressure, contributing to a more comfortable environment.” This study was published in Advances in Water Resources.

“Trees Can Make or Break City Weather.”  2017.  The University of British Columbia, Press release, https://news.ubc.ca/2017/07/26/trees-can-make-or-break-city-weather/.