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Old 05-02-15, 18:55   #1
 
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Red Arrow Australian City Aims to Chill Down by 7 Degrees


Melbourne, Australia



Its Summer in Australia. While international leaders struggle to come up with a politically feasible way to slow climate change, officials in Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city, have a bolder ambition. They’re aiming to significantly cool down their metropolis of 4-plus million inhabitants.

According to Urban Land, Melbourne is working on reducing the temperature of the central city by 7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2030. The innovative plan includes a variety of measures, including tearing up downtown pavement to plant 30,000 new trees, and building an underground system that traps storm water that would run off into rivers and creeks, so that it can be used to irrigate green spaces.

Additionally, Melbourne is asking residents to help protect the health of the city’s existing 77,000 trees, many of which now face shortened lifespans due to warming. According to Reuters, each one of the trees is now marked on an online interactive map and assigned an email address, so that people who live or work nearby can report problems such as low-hanging branches or insufficient watering.

The idea is to bring the temperature of Melbourne’s core, which like many cities is plagued by the urban heat island effect, down to the level of the surrounding suburbs.

The city has suffered through brutal heat waves in recent years, including on in January 2014 that temporarily shut down the Australian Open tennis tournament. The Age, an Australian newspaper, reported that Melbourne averages about 200 heat-related deaths a year, nearly as many fatalities as traffic accidents cause.

According to a recent Australian government report, the Pacific nation’s average temperature has increased by 0.9 percent since 1910, and is expected to be 5.1 degrees hotter by 2090 if the present level of carbon emissions continues.
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