Green roofs can provide large-scale carbon absorption in cities, say researchers

Green roofs can "provide a unique opportunity to sequester carbon", according to research from the US.

Brad Rowe, Kristin Getter and colleagues at the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture have carried out what is believed to be the first attempt to systematically measure the role of green roofs in carbon absorption.

Extrapolating from soil and plant samples taken from 13 primarily Sedum green roofs, they concluded that such roofs applied across a city of one million inhabitants - such as Detroit, Michigan - could capture 55,000 tonnes of carbon.

"Although green roofs are often adopted for energy savings and heat island mitigation, rarely has this technology been promoted for its ability to mitigate climate change," said the paper in Environmental Science & Technology.

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