Written by By Lauren Mellor, CNN
There are millions of trees on U.S. streets. While this may not come as much of a surprise, what is eye-opening is the rate at which these flora are disappearing.
According to a recent study , cities in the US are losing 36 million trees per year. By 2050, this means the US would lose 250 million urban trees, or nearly one in six trees on average.
While unplanted lawns and strip malls could account for some of the lost trees, climate change also poses a significant threat. Because the trees’ roots soak up water, they can make an important role in limiting extreme weather like droughts, flood damage and the risk of wildfires.
“If trees are removed in cities that are vulnerable to flooding, drought, and fire, it will release immense amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which will accelerate climate change,” explains Dr. John Esposito, Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
“And this will worsen global warming, which is a known cause of global warming and extreme weather in the first place.”