Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Innovative Study Will Measure Residential Carbon Sequestration

Date:
March 22, 2005
Source:
University Of Vermont
Summary:
America’s residential areas are expanding fast. But, despite this, scientists know little about how well fixtures of American residential life, things like standard-issue turf lawns, shade trees, marigold gardens and the inevitable evergreen “foundation plantings,” draw climate-changing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere — a possibly significant oversight in national-scale estimates of carbon sequestration.

America’s residential areas are expanding fast. But, despite this, scientists know little about how well fixtures of American residential life, things like standard-issue turf lawns, shade trees, marigold gardens and the inevitable evergreen “foundation plantings,” draw climate-changing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere — a possibly significant oversight in national-scale estimates of carbon sequestration.

Related Articles


A new $660,000, three-year National Science Foundation project led by Jennifer Jenkins, a research assistant professor at the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics, seeks to change that by quantifying carbon cycles in three Baltimore-area neighborhoods, and determining how different factors influence them.

“What we’re doing is starting to fill in the gaps,” Jenkins says. “All the carbon estimates published by the State Department, and used in the Kyoto Protocol, don't include this. So we want to help fill in the spreadsheet. We are going to test hypotheses about what really drives these residential stocks and fluxes.”

To begin getting a better handle on the issue, Jenkins and her colleagues, many of whom are affiliated with the NSF’s Baltimore Long-Term Ecological Research project, will estimate how much carbon dioxide moves in and out of greenery in their selected urban and suburban neighborhoods. They’ll also try to determine the relative importance of factors such as soil type, landscape structure, residential age, and land use history in influencing rates of carbon storage.

“Residential areas are large and growing and, especially in the suburbs, poorly characterized in terms of carbon,” she says.

Jenkins’s project will involve, among other things, selecting sites and test plots, then conducting the delicate education and outreach work that will find residents willing to allow researchers to occasionally visit their property to take meter-deep soil cores, or even mow their lawns (and collect the clippings!) for a summer to quantify the health and turnover of their grass. A social-ecological prong of the project will use neighborhood-level commercial marketing-research to relate an area’s per-capita fertilizer and lawn products spending to the carbon-sequestering vigor of its sweeping green lawns, perhaps yielding a model with predictive power nationwide.

Another fascinating facet of the project involves the analysis of land-use history — a neighborhood's past, whether as forest, agricultural land or a reclaimed golf course, is a factor in its ability to sequester carbon, since sequestration is related to the nitrogen content of soil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Vermont. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Vermont. "Innovative Study Will Measure Residential Carbon Sequestration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050321090451.htm>.
University Of Vermont. (2005, March 22). Innovative Study Will Measure Residential Carbon Sequestration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050321090451.htm
University Of Vermont. "Innovative Study Will Measure Residential Carbon Sequestration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050321090451.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins