Lawn’s carbon footprint

Amy Townsend-Small, UC Irvine, co-author of a new study comparing the carbon storage-versus-emission profile of Southern Californian lawns. Photo: Steve Zylius, UC Irvine

Smoking kills and lawn grooming contributes to global warming, reports the American Geophysical Union.

Actually, the AGU press release doesn’t talk about cigarettes, just grass: “Dispelling the notion that urban ‘green’ spaces [read lawn] help counteract greenhouse gas emissions, new research has found — in Southern California at least — that mowing and other lawn maintenance emit much larger amounts of greenhouse gases than the well-tended grass sequesters.

“Turfgrass lawns remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it as organic carbon in soil, making them important “carbon sinks.” However, greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer production, mowing, leaf blowing and other lawn management practices are four times greater than the amount of carbon stored by ornamental grass in parks,” a new study to be