Putting up solar panels on rooftops has been one of the movements across the globe to help combat climate change. Moving to more renewable sources of energy—cleaner energy—is a clear way people with access to a roof can reduce their carbon imprint. Researchers from the University of Seville published a study this past week that says building “green roofs” could both beautify and reduce some of the effects that climate scientists say we will be experiencing by the end of this century.
In this project, published in the review Building and Environment, they have used Landsat 7 ETM+ and Sentinel-2 satellite images to obtain the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and ground temperature. Given the inverse relationship observed between their values, it has been possible to determine the additional area of vegetation needed (in this case of green rooves) necessary to reduce the temperature by the same amount as it is predicted to rise in different climate change models for Seville.
“To mitigate the effects of climate change, we can talk about two types of options: to attack it at its origin, by eliminating or reducing the human factors that contribute to it (such as, reducing emissions, controlling pollution, etc.) or developing strategies that allow for its effects to be reduced, such as, in the case that concerns us, increasing green areas in cities, using, for example, the tops of buildings as green rooves”, states the University of Seville researcher, Luis Pérez Urrestarazu.
As with the early adoption of solar panels, the researchers hope this information may lead smaller communities to begin this kind of planning, with the hopes that larger municipalities and countries will get in on the act sooner rather than later.