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The new year of the trees 2016

Nir Benmoshe

This week there was a celebration in Israel called “Tu Bishvat” - that means the new year of the trees.

Many people, mostly children, are going out to the open fields and plant new trees. They know that it will take a while till they enjoy the benefits of the trees (Shadow, Fruits, Playground, etc.), but they do it anyway, because they think about the future.

Many people think that after you plant a tree you don’t have to do anything, you just need to wait because nature will take its course, the tree will get its water from the rain and food from the ground. So basically we just do not need to bother.

But we do bother it, without even noticing. When the air is polluted it’s harder for the tree to grow: the Particulate Matter makes it difficult for the photosynthesis process, the Ozone molecules oxidize the fruit molecules and the NOx is not helping either. The same process is even more harmful to vegetables because they have weaker defense mechanisms.

So if we don’t want to eat injured fruit and vegetables we have to make sure that our food is growing in a clean environment. And we have to see where our fruit and vegetables came from and check if the air quality there is good enough. We also call everyone that plant a tree, to come and visit it regularly to see that it is well protected.

Happy new year to all the trees in the globe!

About the Author: Nir is BreezoMeter's Environmental Researcher, in charge of complex algorithms. Nir earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) on Aerosol and Turbulence effect on convective clouds from the Hebrew University and did his  postdoctoral research fellowship at Princeton University.

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