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Hot spots in Raleigh not good for area trees

Posted April 15, 2013
Updated April 16, 2013

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— Research by a North Carolina State University graduate student has pinpointed Raleigh's hottest locations, and she says they could be problematic for some area trees.

Emily Meineke, who is studying entomology, is examining the effect of temperatures on scale insects, parasites that feed on trees and plants. She placed small thermometers in trees throughout Raleigh and used their readings to produce a map of so-called "heat islands," areas that stayed warmer longer.

Meineke said roads, parking lots and buildings "trap heat during the day and release that heat during the night time," producing the heat islands. The temperature differences can be huge, she said.

"In some places, the air temperature is about 10 degrees hotter," she said.

The heat islands are helping the scale insects survive and thrive on local willow oak trees.

Scale insect Study finds parasitic insects thrive in warmer locales

"Scale insects produce a lot of babies, and those babies survive at a certain rate, and they survive at a higher rate when it's warmer," she said.

More insects present a threat to trees in Raleigh, especially younger ones, which Meineke said could eventually create problems for local residents.

"Trees are one of the only ways that we get clean water and clean air," she said.

The problem could spread to trees in rural areas and forests as the overall climate warms, she said.

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  • WooHoo2You Apr 17, 12:00 p.m.

    "That’s like choosing to side with the doctors working for tobacco companies saying cigarettes are ‘safe’ or the doctors that actually have to deal with sick people saying they are not."

    Yeah, because if it doesn't fit the pseudo science you have been fed then it must be crazy. The side effects of DDT are highly debatable. The benefits, however, have never been questioned.-rocket

    I think in my ‘tobacco” analogy the tobacco companies made the exact same argument as you….

  • nctaxguy Apr 16, 7:27 p.m.

    Did she really get credit for college course work for hanging thermometers in trees above asphalt parking lots and telling us that these thermometers registered hotter temperatures than a thermometer hung above a grassy area? Really?! I was not aware that asphalt gives off more heat radiation than grass. That's really important "news".

  • krimson Apr 16, 4:35 p.m.

    Similar to their Education Proposals, the GOP is proposing to eliminate the problem by cutting down all the trees. No trees = no problem.

  • rocket Apr 16, 4:06 p.m.

    "That’s like choosing to side with the doctors working for tobacco companies saying cigarettes are ‘safe’ or the doctors that actually have to deal with sick people saying they are not."

    Yeah, because if it doesn't fit the pseudo science you have been fed then it must be crazy. The side effects of DDT are highly debatable. The benefits, however, have never been questioned.

  • rocket Apr 16, 4:02 p.m.

    "That’s rich! It brought raptors such as Osprey’s and Bald Eagles, our national symbol, to near extinction. "

    If you are going to criticize my stance at least come with some facts instead of just making things up.

  • carrboroyouth Apr 16, 1:28 p.m.

    This has nothing to do with global warming.
    Metal and cement retain heat. It's really not rocket science.

  • Red Green Apr 16, 1:16 p.m.

    “The potential benefits of DDT, especially in developing countries, far outweighs the miniscule impact it has on plant and animal life. I guess it all depends on which scientists you choose to believe.”

    That’s rich! It brought raptors such as Osprey’s and Bald Eagles, our national symbol, to near extinction. Recent evidence from epidemiological studies indicates that DDT causes cancers of the liver, pancreas and breast. There is mixed evidence that it contributes to Leukemia, lymphoma and testicular cancer. Studies indicate that it leads to developmental issues in infants and children. Is that what you mean by “minimal impact”?

  • GravyPig Apr 16, 1:10 p.m.

    "Oh, dear. Let's do away with all parking lots, buildings, and roads immeidately! Save the trees from the dastardly "heat islands"! Oh, wait - it's just another of those "Global Warming" panic mongers. Never mind." - Genralwhine

    This isn't caused by global warming. Do you ever notice that the country seems to be cooler than the city? You know why that is? Asphalt, glass, conrete and steel. All these items hold heat. This isn't some hoax, it is pretty much some basic science.

  • WooHoo2You Apr 16, 12:43 p.m.

    The potential benefits of DDT, especially in developing countries, far outweighs the miniscule impact it has on plant and animal life. I guess it all depends on which scientists you choose to believe.-rocket

    That’s like choosing to side with the doctors working for tobacco companies saying cigarettes are ‘safe’ or the doctors that actually have to deal with sick people saying they are not.

  • yankee1 Apr 16, 12:36 p.m.

    Cancer researchers are struggling to find a cure for cancer. I guess that means cancer doesn't really exist but is just a plot by the left to steal tax dollars or "research"....chuckbiscuits

    Are sure you you want to make that comparison? Think it through now! Last I remember cancer can be seen on X-rays, thru blood tests and can actually be cut out of th body. Let me know when I can look at a Global Warming Tumor other than the human tumors trying to make a buck off it.

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