On a High Note: Climate Change Lab Opens in Central Park

Climate Change Lab Opens in Central Park

A recent partnership between Central Park Conservancy, the Yale School of the Environment, and the Natural Areas Conservancy has resulted in the establishment of the

in New York City. Researchers will use the lab to study the relationship between climate change and urban parks and identify climate mitigation strategies for cities.

As a first initiative, scientists have installed temperature gauges and data loggers in trees around Central Park to assess the cooling effects of the trees and measure the extent to which urban parks mitigate heat in cities. As global warming gets worse, deaths from extreme heat continue to be the country’s number one weather-related killer, so this project will spearhead efforts to reduce urban heat and hopefully save lives.

"We know that cities, because of all the pavement and buildings, are on average two to six degrees warmer than rural places, and parks can be kind of the air conditioners in cities,” says Clara Pregitzer, deputy director of Conservation Science at the Natural Areas Conservancy.

Right now, the project is only running in Central Park, but researchers say it will expand to other parks around the city and, hopefully, to other parts of the country as scientists race to find resilience solutions to climate change issues.

CBS: Central Park turned Climate Lab this Earth Day, April 22, 2022.

Center for Health Journalism: Extreme Heat | Reporting on Climate Change’s Deadly Threat, November 3, 2021.

The Oregonian: Where are Portland's Urban Heat Islands?, July 29, 2021.