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Now Even Lawns Cause ‘Global Warming’

From the crackpots at LiveScience:

Lawns May Contribute to Global Warming

Sun Jan 24

Lush green lawns may not be as good for the environment as you might think.

A new study suggests that, in certain parts of the country, total emissions would actually be lower if there weren’t any lawns.

Previous studies have demonstrated that lawns comprised of turfgrass can potentially function as carbon sinks since they help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But the maintenance of lawns – fertilizer production, mowing, leaf blowing and other lawn management practices – may generate greenhouse gas emissions that ultimately exceed four times the carbon they end up storing, according to the study.

"Lawns look great – they’re nice and green and healthy, and they’re photosynthesizing a lot of organic carbon," said researcher Amy Townsend-Small,who co-authored the study. "But the carbon-storing benefits of lawns are counteracted by fuel consumption."

To reach their conclusion, the researchers sampled grass from four parks around Irvine, Calif. that contained either ornamental lawn turf or athletic field turf, which tended to be more trampled and required replanting and frequent aeration. Samples were taken from the soil and air above the turf, and analyzed to measure carbon sequestration and nitrous oxide emissions. The investigators then compared that data to the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that resulted from maintaining the turf, which included fuel consumption, irrigation and fertilizer production.

The results, detailed in the forthcoming issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, showed that nitrous oxide emissions from lawns were comparable to those found in agricultural farms, which are considered among the largest emitters of nitrous oxide globally. In ornamental lawns, nitrous oxide emissions from fertilization offset just 10 percent to 30 percent of the carbon that was sequestered. But day-to-day management required fossil fuel consumption that released about four times more carbon dioxide than the plots could take up.

Athletic fields fared even worse. They didn’t trap nearly as much carbon as ornamental grass but required just as much emission-generating care.

"It’s impossible for these lawns to be net greenhouse gas sinks because too much fuel is used to maintain them," Townsend-Small said.

Notice that this ‘study’ used grass from around Irvine, California.

If you have ever been to California, you know what passes for lawns there. — It is laughable.

But of course the whole exercise is laughable.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Now Even Lawns Cause ‘Global Warming’”

  1. proreason says:

    People make good livings thinking about this nonsense.

    Meanwhile, 30 million+ Americans need jobs.

    • jobeth says:

      Now Pro…These ARE the jobs Obalmy promised…you know…the ‘green’ jobs….

      That they produce nonsense should not be taken into consideration.

      That just makes them also fit Obalmy’s ‘shovel ready’ criteria. (lots and lots BS)

    • tranquil.night says:

      Apparently ‘green’ doesn’t even mean ‘naturally green’ anymore.

      But that’s all the left ever amounts to – an obsession with astroturfing and doing everything through the backdoor.

  2. DC says:

    Glaciergate–A relatively tame Hitler parody video

    Glaciergate: Hitler’s Last Straw


  3. wirenut says:

    Ben Cartwright + bag of fertilizer = Lawn Green! I just couldn’t help myself, sorry!!!!!

  4. wirenut says:

    JohnMG, Barack in a bag? THAT sack is in the WH, and all over the lawn. Send Hop Sing with shovel and disinfectants. This whole article is manure.

  5. U NO HOO says:

    America, land of opportunity, analyze a lawn based on global warming gibberish and get paid.

    Gollleeee Sgt. Carter.

  6. canary says:

    Wonder how Obama’s keeping up his other new Chicago lawn. Can’t count on his seller/neighbor to lend a hand as last I heard he’s still behind bars. Must have lax home-owners assoc by-laws, or non-law abiding residents

  7. GL0120 says:

    I don’t suppose this study looked at how much oxygen was put back from the lawns.
    No, oxygen is foreign to the brains of these people.

  8. Reality Bytes says:


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