Green Roofs Could Help Fight Global Warming
Green roofs can reduce heating and air conditioning costs, with Department of Energy simulations projecting they can lead to a roughly 10 percent reduction in natural gas consumption and a 2 percent drop in electricity use for a typical building. Moreover, green roofs last two to three times longer than standard roofs because they are protected from ultraviolet radiation and the extreme fluctuations in temperature that cause roof membranes to deteriorate. They also retain and detain storm water, which could otherwise exacerbate flooding and erosion.
In addition to soaking up pollution and noise, the plants in green roofs naturally absorb carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas behind global warming. Scientists at Michigan State University measured carbon levels in plant and soil samples collected from 13 green roofs in Michigan and Maryland over a two-year period. The researchers found that replacing traditional roofing materials with green roofs in an urban area the size of Detroit, with a population of about one million, would capture more than 55,000 tons of carbon. That is roughly similar to eliminating a year’s worth of carbon dioxide emitted by 10,000 mid-sized SUVs and trucks.
[Read More via Live Science]