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Climate change threatens health and survival of urban trees-BBC Junk Science

September 20, 2022

By Paul Homewood

h/t Paul Kolk

Latest junk science from the BBC:



Climate change threatens the health and survival of urban trees, with more than half of species already feeling the heat, according to a new study.

City-dwelling oaks, maples, poplars, elms, pines and chestnuts are among more than 1,000 tree species flagged at risk due to climate change.

Scientists want better protection of existing trees and for drought-resistant varieties to be planted.

Trees have cooling effects and provide shade, making cities more liveable.

Many trees in urban areas are already stressed because of climate change, and as it gets warmer and drier, the number of species at potential risk will increase, said Manuel Esperon-Rodriguez of Western Sydney University in Penrith, Australia.

City and street trees can improve physical and mental health, are important in social integration and can mitigate the effects of temperature rises – something that hit home during the pandemic, he said.

"All these benefits are mainly provided by big mature trees so we need to make sure that what we are planting today will get to that stage where they can provide all those benefits for future generations," he told BBC News.

The researchers used the Global Urban Tree Inventory – a database recording more than 4,000 different trees and shrubs planted in 164 cities in 78 countries – to assess the likely impact of global warming on the trees planted along streets and in parks.

Of the 164 cities analysed, more than half of tree species are already at risk in some cities due to rising temperatures and changes in rainfall. And by 2050, this proportion is predicted to rise to more than two-thirds.

Climate risk for species in urban areas is particularly high in cities in tropical regions, and in vulnerable countries such as India, Niger, Nigeria and Togo.

In the UK, the researchers looked at five cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, London and York.

They found that drier weather under climate change is expected to have a big impact on trees, particularly in York, London and Birmingham.

Maybe Ms Briggs might like to explain where this “drier weather” is!


Last time I checked, Kew Gardens was still very verdant:



And up here in Yorkshire, I would hardly say we are turning into the Sahara!





How much does Helen Briggs get paid to regurgitate this drivel?

  1. HotScot permalink
    September 20, 2022 12:15 pm

    Looks like your hedge needs trimming Paul. No sign of it being water stressed.

  2. September 20, 2022 12:20 pm

    I am sure neither thevsuthors not Ms Briggs visited Niger, Nigeria, Togo or India to check out the urban trees. If they could find any that is.
    Computer generated rubbish passing itself off as study.

  3. Peter Yarnall permalink
    September 20, 2022 12:40 pm

    Is this a parody of the BBC……..made by the BBC?

    • Stuart Hamish permalink
      September 20, 2022 12:52 pm

      Looks like the Information Research Department is still operational at the
      BBC ……British intelligence and the UK Ministry of Defence have hitched their wagons to the climate crisis junk science

  4. tomo permalink
    September 20, 2022 12:42 pm

    Survival of urban trees?

    – maybe quiz Sheffield City Council on that one?

  5. Richard permalink
    September 20, 2022 1:25 pm

    I lived in the Libyan desert for 5 years, my accommodation was surrounded by eucalyptus trees, which provided shade from heat and light. A blessing, but they had no problem with average temperatures between 80 and 120 F winter/summer. A little water from time to time, they thrived. The BBC really are scraping the barrel with this stuff. Absolute bloody nonsense!

  6. September 20, 2022 1:30 pm

    As an original Brummie, I can’t say that the trees are having a problem. Birmingham is a city that is characterised by trees, and maybe what the scientists are misdiagnosing is as simple as that they have a natural lifespan.

    • Keith permalink
      September 21, 2022 1:54 pm

      Agreed. Presumably most urban trees were planted in big batches when the street/park/suburb was first set out. (It would be interesting to dig through the archives on that point.)

      Meanwhile it is getting difficult to get new street trees approved, due to risk of root damage etc.

  7. Mike Jackson permalink
    September 20, 2022 1:38 pm

    The Times carried this story as well. I went hunting for and — surprise, surprise — found:
    “Esperon-Rodriguez used climate change models to simulate a “medium” scenario for future greenhouse gas emissions …”
    Well, who would have thought? 🤪

  8. bobn permalink
    September 20, 2022 1:48 pm

    Hmm. Now they say their fantastic ‘climate change’ is due to increasing CO2. And an increase in CO2 causes plants including trees to grow better and more vigorously. Also their models say we will get wetter (and drier at the same time they often say).
    So with more CO2 plant food and more water the trees will grow better.
    I just put that in my computer model and predict climate change will engulf our cities in forests.
    My analysis is likely more Scientological than theirs!
    Shall i send it to the BBC for broadcast?

  9. Paul Weeks permalink
    September 20, 2022 3:26 pm

    I was told the biggest threat to urban trees was water companies stopping the water pipes leaking.

  10. September 20, 2022 3:35 pm

    The rainfall rescue project has clearly shown an increasing rainfall trend since 1800.

  11. Joe Public permalink
    September 20, 2022 4:05 pm

    Claimed no BBC headline ever:

    “Climate change improves the health and survival of rural trees ….”

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 20, 2022 5:05 pm

      What is quite extraordinary is that small changes to the climate have apparently absolutely no benefits whatsoever. If you ask yourself, how likely is that, you quickly can see how absurd this is.

    • Sean permalink
      September 20, 2022 7:32 pm

      And, of course, the “…getting warmer and drier…” is due entirely to climate change; the urban heat island effect has zero contribution to increased temperatures…

  12. Vernon E permalink
    September 20, 2022 4:05 pm

    I have a walnut and an ash which I believe I can see are growing more vigorously year by year. I put it down to the slight increases in carbon dioxide.

  13. Stephen Lord permalink
    September 20, 2022 4:49 pm

    They always neglect the growth benefits of higher CO2 levels and the lower need for water as CO2 levels increase and the pores in the leaves are less open which reduces evaporative losses.

  14. Malcolm permalink
    September 20, 2022 4:51 pm

    Science – not by my training and standards.
    I quote their conclusion (wild guess not data related to evidence presented”:-

    “climate change is expected to have a big impact on trees”. Expected! How big a personal financial bet would they put on that speculation? Yet they expect the gullible and superstitious out here to bet the future of our civilisation or their fantasy.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      September 20, 2022 5:02 pm

      If things that are bad for trees happen, then trees will suffer. That’s literally all that is this “research” says.

  15. Phoenix44 permalink
    September 20, 2022 5:01 pm

    More modelling of assumptions that is then used to claim the assumptions are right because they were modelled. This is farcical, tye BBC reporting running models as research when it’s just playing.

  16. Keith Harrison permalink
    September 20, 2022 8:50 pm

    In answer to your closing question: Too much!

  17. Keith Harrison permalink
    September 20, 2022 8:50 pm

    In answer to your question: Too much!

  18. Gamecock permalink
    September 20, 2022 9:04 pm

    These types of studies went away a few years ago, but I guess they are back.

    “Given global warming, . . . .”

    Infinite possibilities for speculation.

    All based on a false premise.

  19. John Dawson permalink
    September 20, 2022 11:01 pm

    Here in Cambridge our local council has been busy chopping down the trees in Histon Road and now Milton Road – to make way for cycleways….. you couldn’t make it up.

  20. September 21, 2022 12:18 pm

    Last week, the local news reported that the 2 area swimming pools had lost some $12,000 last summer due to the 10″ of rain in July and August. It is still raining in Morgantown, WV.

    At this time of year, many species are “winding down” and coming to the end of their yearly life cycle. Therefore, field grasses begin to look yellow and brown. This is true for many crops also. Perfectly natural.

  21. John Hultquist permalink
    September 21, 2022 4:43 pm

    Trees grow old and die!
    Who knew?

  22. John Wainwright permalink
    September 26, 2022 9:18 am

    Sheffield has previous in chopping down urban trees!

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