SEOUL, Aug. 3 (Korea Bizwire) — As brutal heat waves continue to hit South Korea, urban forests that work as naturally sourced air-conditioning systems are drawing attention.
According to data released by the Korea Forest Service (KFS) on Wednesday, a thermo-graphic camera showed the average temperature in urban forests is between 4.5 and 2.3 Celsius degrees lower than the surrounding area.
It is thought that urban forest shade is particularly effective against summer heat, as the temperature drops and direct sunlight is blocked when tall trees transpire.
The data from the KFS also compared what is now Yeouido Park in 1996 and the park in its current form in 2016, which showed a temperature drop.
In 1996, the temperature around Yeouido Park was 2.5 degrees higher that surrounding areas, but in 2016, the urban forest was 0.9 degrees cooler.
The Korea Forest Research Institute argues urban forests like Yeouido Park are a great eco-friendly way to tackle the problem of overheating that faces many cities.
“The perception that street trees are only for beautification must change, and it should be more widely understood that they play a crucial role in tackling heat and fine dust issues,” said researcher Park Chan-yeol at the Korea Forest Research Institute.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)