Urban Forest Climate Adaptation Tool
Heat accounts for the most weather-related deaths in the United States. People living in urban areas, like Washington D.C., must contend with the urban heat island effect, which occurs when pavement and buildings in cities absorb and re-emit heat. Trees will be essential in efforts to keep D.C. residents safe during the heat of the summers to come.
In D.C., residents rely on urban forest to help adapt to future climates that are projected to bring extreme heat, higher average temperatures, and changes in precipitation. But the trees themselves are vulnerable to those same changes, and climate change will exacerbate the heat island effect and result in more extreme temperature differences.
As stewards of the urban forest, the D.C. Urban Forestry Division has been working to better understand what is at risk, who is at risk, and how to adjust our management practices to maintain an urban forest that is healthy, safe, and growing, even within a changing climate. Much of this information can be found within this Urban Forest Climate Adaptation website and toolkit.