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.

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 April 17, 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 April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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