Research Finds That Eastern U.S. Tree Planting Has Halted Global Warming Effects

 A new study finds that a century of steady reforestation in the American East and Southeast has kept the region cooler.

 The pioneering assessment of progress reveals how 25 years of rapid global reforestation may pay off in the second part of the 21st century.

 Forests in the eastern US cool the land surface by 1.8 – 3.6°F annually compared to nearby grasslands and croplands, with the strongest effect in summer when cooling is 3.6 – 9°F

 The cooling effect was most in younger forests, with 20–40-year-old trees having the coldest interiors.

 The Guardian quoted Indiana University environmental scientist Mallory Barnes as saying, “The reforestation has been remarkable and we have shown this has translated into the surrounding air temperature.”

 We need to consider tree planting not only as a strategy to absorb carbon dioxide but also as a way to cool cities to adapt to climate change and make them more adaptable to these really hot temperatures.

 Near-surface air temps dropped stepwise as the land surface cooled, reducing heat.

 “Analyses of historical land cover and air temperature trends showed that reforestation cools the landscape,” the authors wrote. 

  Reforestation was up to 1.8°F lower than nearby regions that did not undergo land cover change, and such areas were linked to cooling temperature trends in much of the Eastern US.

 By the 1930s, forest cover loss in the eastern states like the Carolinas and Mississippi had stopped, as the descendants of European settlers moved in greater and greater numbers into cities and marginal agricultural land was abandoned. 

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