City dwellers are always clamoring for more green space but some studies show that urban parks may not always be as “green” as they seem.
A study on urban green space says that the irrigation, fertilizer, mowing and leaf blowing all add up, emitting more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than the spaces absorb. The study has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
Dr. Czimczik and her colleagues analyzed the grass in four parks in Irvine, which include both open lawns with picnic tables and athletic fields.
They found that in open lawns, the use of fertilizers, which emit heat-trapping nitrous oxide, offsets 10 to 30 percent of the carbon dioxide captured and stored. And the fuel used in mowing and leaf-blowing releases more carbon dioxide than the lawns soak up.
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