“If policies are implemented where they are needed most, there could be a significant decrease in life expectancy disparities across Los Angeles,” Dr. Michael Jerrett, professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and corresponding author of the study, said in a statement.
"Even as California grapples with the effects of an extremely wet winter, the threat of drought and heat lingers, especially for areas where vegetation is too sparse to blunt the dangers. The impacts are profound across these cityscapes, according to a new study that focuses specifically on Los Angeles, which also found they have a disproportionate effect on disadvantaged communities of color.
Areas now flush with green will again brown, rearing familiar hazards brought about by warming weather. And when urban vegetation – which plays a key part in keeping cities cool – grows parched and shrivels against cooking concrete, residents pay the price. Rising temperatures spike higher without greenery, spurring the cycle of drying and heating that makes landscapes even less hospitable for the remaining plants to thrive."