News Digest Item
03 Aug 2018

Hot and dry weather in German cities strains CO2 absorption rate of trees

Rheinische Post

Trees in German cities are stressed by an unusual drought that affects their ability to absorb CO2 and convert it into oxygen, biologist Michael Blaschke says in an article written by Peter Clement in the Rheinische Post. Many trees in inner cities shed their leaves to save energy, and contrary to their fellow specimen in forests, their root system is usually not extensive enough to source water from deeper layers of the soil, biologist Blaschke says. “They need all of our help right now,” he warns, adding that an average tree needs between 50 and 80 litres of water per day to flourish. In many German cities, firefighters currently use their equipment to water trees and green spaces. A big tree can convert up to 9,400 litres of CO2 on a sunny day, equivalent to the carbon output of two or three families, but this ability is greatly diminished if the plant does not have enough water at its disposal. “This climate cooling effect is largely absent this year,” Blaschke says. Firefighters in Frankfurt am Main water trees amid an exceptional drought and heat wave. Photo: CLEW

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW article Germany’s power system weathers heat wave despite fossil plant curbs and the dossier Cities, municipalities, and the Energiewende for more information.

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