Amount of vegetation indicates a city's carbon dioxide emissions

The combined annual carbon dioxide emissions of urban areas within the EU are estimated to be four times the amount of carbon stored by vegetation in the area.  This finding was presented by Finnish researchers, whose data indicates the direct impact of land use in cities on its carbon dioxide emissions.

The city centre of Helsinki emits nearly five kilograms of carbon per square metre. In London the figure is twice as high. Moreover, the figures are manifold compared to the amount of carbon that Finnish coniferous forests are able to store, which is a few hundred grams a year.

"Built-up cities are a major source of carbon dioxide. The fraction of natural areas is small and there is very little greenery, so the vegetation that serves as a carbon sink does not have the capacity to compensate for the human carbon emissions," says Annika Nordbo from the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki.

Read the full story on Helsinki University's website

Latest inside news