The key to reversing the loss
Trees in suburban streets have been shown to reduce temperatures by as much as 10 degrees, but it's not as simple as just planting more.
Leigh Staas is the project manager of Which Plant Where — a five-year research project investigating how plants cope in extreme environments — and has called to increase urban canopy cover by at least 30 percent.
But she said it had to be the right kind of greenery.
"While planting trees is increasingly considered a cost-effective method for improving the adaptability and sustainability of cities to projected changes in climate, it won't be if the species planted can't withstand the new normal and die," she said.
"Increasing the diversity of tree species in our cities is crucial in ensuring that our urban landscapes remain resilient to the many challenges of climate change, particularly drought, pest and disease."