The world’s CO2 emissions are currently at a record high,since the discovery of fossil fuels. Scientists have been calling upon worldleaders, now with more urgency, to stop the increase of the CO2emissions. Another increase in CO2 emissions will drastically changethe planet and our environment, such as the sudden change of weather, themelting of the ice caps, and many more factors, that used to be benefits forthe planet.
If alternative energy sources or ways to clean our air are notfound or applied, then the Planet that we live, will not be able to supporthuman life.Image 1 Image 2ScientificSolutions to High Emissions:A cheap solution to these high emissions of CO2, aregreen roofs. The plants or vegetation found on green roofs, greatly reduces theemissions of CO2. These green roofs, are however, difficult toplace, since not every roof is able to house a green roof full of plants.
Thisis because green roofs consist of around about five layers that can add a lotof weight that some houses cannot support:Image 3These layershelp the plants, since the water and roots are able to spread out and that willmake sure that the plant will be able to survive. The water will be able to besettle in the substrate and be later on taken from the soil in the plant forPhotosynthesis. There are many private benefits are available to green roofowners, but the most beneficial for the green roofs, is that they help cleanthe air, through Photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis, is the basic process, for aplant to generate its own nutrition, which it can break down to energy ifneeded. Both substrates for photosynthesis, must be present in order for achemical reaction to take place. Therefore, CO2, taken from the air,and Water, taken up from the soil, must be present.
The products of thephotosynthesis reaction is Oxygen and Glucose, which can be broken down fromATP to ADP to help cells to move and stay alive. Photosynthesis is not only keyto the plants life and future, but it also very much so benefits ourenvironment. Animals (us) are not able to produce Photosynthesis, since we arenot in possession of any chlorophyll and without any Chlorophyll we are notable to absorb any energy from light, which is then used to make sure thatPhotosynthesis takes place. Enzymes are an important factor in lettingPhotosynthesis take place. They are important because the Enzymes helpaccelerate the chemical reaction (Photosynthesis) and they will make sure thatthe substrates changes into products to either being released or stored by theplant. The word equation for Photosynthesis is:Image 4 Green roofs can be used as analternative source to help improve the air quality.
This is because it is alsocheap and easy to install, easier than the alternative energy sources that willreplace the fossil fuels one day.EnvironmentalFactor:Advantages:The green roofs, are a realistic and ideal solution to improve ourair quality, and help diminish the ozone layer around the Planet, which iswarming up our Planet. Photosynthesis helps get rid of CO2 andprovide oxygen, the opposite of us humans or animals. Green roofs provide adurable roof and cooling. Both these things are very beneficial to yourelectricity costs.
Rainwater absorption, is another beneficial factor, sincethe vegetation or plants are able to absorb a lot of water for theirPhotosynthesis. Instead of the normal roofs that let rainwater flow down fromthem and in the case of heavy waterfall will not prevent the sewers fromoverflowing. That could lead to structural damage in the whole neighborhood oreven cause Sewer Backup, which can lead, in the worst case scenarios, to healthhazards. Sewer Backups is when sewage pipes are overflowing from the heavyrainfall and will be able to cause dirty or used water to be sent back up drainpipes.
Food production is also a very beneficial factor in green roofs, sinceyou are able to grow food on your roof. Helping the ever growing cities inbeing able to supply the necessary needs and nutrients a human body needs.Endangered insects or plants can be preserved or helped out of their endangeredstate, since the green roofs can act as stepping-stones, where the insects canstop before going to their nests or where the insects can find the necessarythings that they need. Finally, if you live in a busy and loud city, the greenroofs are able to dampen the sound of what is happening outside, and leave youwith silence.Disadvantages:What green roof layers are made up of is very unsustainable, sincethe materials that they are made up of is all engineered materials. ‘The medium is high in minerals andlow in organic matter (less than 8%)’ (“GreenRoofs | Soil Science Society Of America” 2018). This shows us that theoverall result of green roofs, maybe look sustainable, but is instead is madeup of very unsustainable components.
Not every house, can have a green roof,reducing the accessibility for everyone. The added weight of the green roofs,can be too heavy for some roofs, since some walls or roofs are too thin tosupport the green roofs, and will collapse if the weight will be too much. ‘Thin, lightweight systems, known as “extensive”green roofs typically have a planting media measuring 2 to 6 inches deep, whileheavier, thicker varieties are known as “intensive” green roofs andrange in thickness from 6 to 18 inches or deeper’ (Salter 2018). This shows that on average these planting medias needto be very thick to support something like a green roof. Leaks may occurin the structure, since some roots may go through the root resistant layer and eventhe waterproof membrane. When this happens, large structural damage to thehouse will occur, which may be very disastrous and cause major repair jobs orlead to other problems within the house.Conclusion:In conclusion, I think that green roofs are a great solution to theever increasing CO2 levels in our world. They are not only verysustainable, but very cheap and easy to install, compared to the alternativeenergy sources.
They are also even beneficial to the owner who installs themand conserves electricity that could have been used instead on heating andcooling. However, the accessibility makes it very hard to make sure thateveryone is able to have a green roof, and that if the weather becomes drierand less rainfall is expected the plants will not be able to survive.