Earth Our Only Home, Inc.
Karen L. Weber's Green Roof Theory
Written by Karen L. Weber
Co-President of Earth Our Only Home, Inc.
June 27, 2006
The green roof serves a far greater purpose than simply as an aid in reducing the
energy costs for a single building:
• When green roofs are installed over a city such as Boston, not only do they
cool the air over the city, but also the air over the coastal waters. This re-creates
the proper cycle between the land and sea that has existed since the last ice age.
• Also, and just as significantly, green roofs help to retain stormwater. Instead
of all the freshwater from rain and snowmelt running into the sea or being pumped
out by city sewage systems, a good part of that freshwater is retained by green
roofs and returned into the air through evapotranspiration. Retention of fresh
stormwater by green roofs greatly reduces the harmful diluting of the salinities of
our oceans and the polluting of our coastal waters.
• Furthermore, green roofs absorb excess pollutants, including carbon dioxide
(a major greenhouse gas) in our atmosphere, exchanging them for much needed
These three factors combined will have a major impact on maintaining the now
threatened functioning of the thermalhaline pump located in the North Atlantic. This
all important pump controls our Global Ocean Conveyor Belt. When the water is
cooler and the salinity less dilute, the colder saline currents will re-descend to their
long established lower points in the ocean, allowing the ocean current system to
function better. Moreover, with cooler coastal waters, jellyfish which thrive on
oxygen deficient waters will be less likely to invade and disturb our traditional
Truly we hold in our hands the ability to restore the oceans to the pattern on which
all life on the planet has relied for millennia. This will enable us to keep our polar ice
caps and Greenland’s ice sheet in place, reduce the number and intensity of
hurricanes, and prevent coastal flooding and erosion.
The green roof has many additional valuable benefits, but its potential to help
achieve a balance in our oceans’ temperature and salinity levels outweighs them
all. To this end, we must “green roof” our northeastern coast as soon as possible.
This will take public awareness, political determination and financial commitment.
|Karen Weber’s Green Roof Theory:
How Green Roofs Can Help Re-Balance
Our Climate and Our Oceans©