Scientists warn of environmental threats that are rising from trend that is likely to continue unless and until the policies are altered. Cities in the United States are increasingly seeing concrete and are 36 million trees instead of greenery that it used to have as urban areas lose an estimated 36m trees annually, according to a study from the Forest Service.
Tree cover in urban areas has reduced at around a rate of around 175,000 acres per year, while impervious cover – such as roads and buildings – has increased significantly across the country. An estimated of 40% new impervious surfaces were in areas where one trees used to grow, the study have found.
Cities in almost half the states in the country lost a significant amount of tree cover over the period of five years, In some places the changes were drastic, resulting to almost half a percent of a city’s tree cover every year That is 36 million trees. Those fractions of a percent add up to a huge significant and noticeable losses over just a few years.
David Nowak, co-author of the study, published in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening said that understanding where these losses are occurring .The magnitude of change will hopefully facilitate discussions as to how much tree cover communities want to have in the coming years. The roles of urban trees in sustaining environmental quality and human health and wellbeing.
Urban forests moderate climate and helps to reduce carbon emissions and hence improving the quality of air and water. If properly placed around buildings, trees can save energy by reducing the need for air conditioning by 30% and for heating by up to 50%. They also reduce rainfall runoff, offering vital barriers in flood-prone cities. The estimated loss for 36 million trees of these – including carbon storage, pollution reduction, altered energy use in buildings – and other things is valued at $96m (£71m) per year.
Urban trees also have social advantages whether it’s for improving people’s mental or physical health. Trees in urban areas help ward off pollution it has got a long list of benefits for people and the planet as said Rolf Skar, forest campaign director for Greenpeace USA.
This news proves once again that we need to start thinking about trees reducing seriously and adding more green spaces to our cities. It’s found that 45 states showed a net decline in urban tree cover, with around 23 states experiencing significant decreases – resulting in an overall annual net loss of 0.12%, which is almost comparable to 175,000 acres of tree cover.
Alabama, Florida and Georgia were the states with the greatest annual net loss in tree cover in the urban areas. Well there has been no significant increase in tree cover in US urban areas over the past five years, impervious surfaces such as concrete increased by 167,000 acres per year across the states.
As a citizen of not only US but from any other place, help and give a hand to grow more tress and adopting Afforestation and avoiding unnecessary cutting of the trees.