Urban Trees = Cleaner Air

Not that it's a real surprise that trees clean the air, but a new study shows that greenery in cities can have a significant effect on air quality.

A new study out of the University of Kent in the UK found that a 10 percent increase in urban tree coverage in mid-size cities, like Leicester, can absorb about 12 percent of carbon emissions, contributing to cleaner air. The study is yet another addition to the argument that any sound urban planning or transit policy to improve air quality must be supplemented with green spaces.

To reach their intuitive, yet essential, conclusion, the conservation scientists first calculated tree density and vegetation on a city-wide scale, and later derived the biomass and carbon storage potential in each vegetation category. Based on their calculations, the researchers found that above-ground vegetation stores 231,521 tons of carbon, of which 97.3 percent is stored by trees.

And although the study brings some much needed positive news to the greenhouse gas debate, the researchers express the importance of maintaining this valuable resource for the city's air quality.

Thanks to Jeffrey Riecke

Full Story: Urban Green Space Key in Improving Air Quality

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