Green Roofs Can Be Effective Against Climate Change — In The Right Climate

Sourced from ZME Science

A new study analyzed the effect of green roofs in a Mediterranean climate, finding that it can be quite effective in mitigating some of the effects of climate change, particularly when it comes to conserving water — a vital resource in a relatively dry climate.

Green roofs (roofs covered by soil and plants) are making a comeback — they look great, and they have a number of important environmental advantages. They absorb and sequestrate a bit of carbon, improve and reduce energy consumption, and reduce stormwater runoff, retaining up to 75% of rainwater, gradually releasing it back into the atmosphere via condensation and transpiration, while retaining pollutants in their soil.

In a new study, researchers developed a test site in the city of Benaguasil (Valencia) where, in 2014, a traditional 315-m2 roof was turned into a green roof. They installed a pluviograph (an instrument for measuring the amount of water that has fallen) to analyse the rain data during the period monitored (from June 2014 to June 2015).

Of course, results of the study are strongly dependent on the type of vegetation planted on the roof, as well as local climate. Mediterranean weather is characterized by warm, wet winters and calm, hot, dry summers. Despite the name, the Mediterranean area isn’t the only area to feature this type of climate — parts of California, Chile, South Africa feature similar weather trends.

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