This UC Irvine study with heat lamps on grass plots seems to be almost at a science fair level. Here’s the relevant quotes from the abstract and conclusion:
Our results suggest that an increase in temperature caused by climate change as well as the urban heat island effect may result in increases in N2O emissions from fertilized urban lawns. In addition, warming may exacerbate weed invasions, which may require more intensive management…
The increases in N2O fluxes with warming suggest that soil N2O fluxes could serve as a positive feedback to global warming in turfgrass.
In high school I cut lawns to make money during the summer, and as any lawnboy can tell you, crabgrass is far more hardy than fescue in the heat. We’d spend all summer keeping the crabgrass and other weeds at bay. So this is hardly news. What is news to me is that taxpayer funds would be wasted on such things. With “tipping points”, sea ice loss, ocean conveyor shutdowns, and a whole host of bigger things we’ve been told to worry about, I’m really surprised that anybody is wasting time worrying about our lawn quality in the apocalyptic future that has been portrayed by some. On the plus side, at least they recognize UHI, which I’m sure will upset Peterson and Parker, who tell us it doesn’t exist. – Anthony
From the Orange County Register:
July 14th, 2008, 3:00 am ·Gary Robbins, Orange County Register
The finding came when plant ecologist Diane Pataki and graduate student Neeta Bijoor heated portions of a research lawn with infrared lamps. Other portions of the lawn weren’t heated during the study, which focused on greenhouse gas emissions.
“There were significantly more crabgrass weeds in the high temperature plots,” says Pataki. “Some of the weeds, including crabgrass, are better adapted for higher temperatures than fescue, the most common lawn grass, because they use a different type of photosynthesis.
“Our results suggest that these weeds may become more of a problem as the temperature gets warmer.”
The study, to be published in the journal Global Change Biology, says the “warming may exacerbate weed invasions, which may require more intensive management (e.g. herbicide application) to manage species composition.”
bijoor2008preprint1.pdf Click file at left to read the Pataka study.