Dallas Urban Heat Island Effect report released by Texas Trees Foundation
Dallas is hot, and getting hotter. The Texas Trees Foundation’s findings in the 2017 Dallas Urban Heat Island Effect report show how cities affect heat waves. Surfaces like rooftops, parking lots and streets make up 35 percent of the city. In urban areas, these retain heat, making the area up to 15 degrees warmer than in rural areas. The Foundation’s study revealed Dallas County is heating up quickly, and that planting trees can help reduce the heat and improve the health of community members.
Rising temperatures can impact public health. The hottest areas of Dallas had an average high of 101 degrees and an average low of 80 for five months of the year. Dallas County heat-related deaths peaked in 2011 at 52.
The Texas Trees Foundation recommends planting trees as part of a strategy to reduce the impact of cities on the climate, and help prevent the heat island effect from raising temperatures. Planting trees in the hottest areas with high-density residential buildings reduced deaths by more than 20 percent, through lowering the temperature.
The full report is available here.