Be Cool, Paint The Town White

White and Green roof.Researchers have done the math on how much CO2 would be offset by more reflective cityscapes.

Given the day of financial reckoning to come, only delayed a bit by GWB’s bailout (the largest since the Great Depression), maybe ”Get Out Of Town” would have been a more helpful headline for you. But enough of my obsessions.

White roofs, streets could curb global warming from PhysOrg.com
The idea of painting our roofs and roads white to offset global warming is not new, but a recent study has calculated just how significantly white surfaces could impact greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley presented their study at California’s annual Climate Change Research Conference in Sacramento.
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Thanks to this Kurzweil AI post for leading me to the PhysOrg article. See this recent Science Now article, “Fight Global Warming With a White Roof.”

White coatings are cheaper than installing rooftop gardens, but “green roofs” fight heat islands in a city, and with the plants absorbing CO2 directly, are probably no worse despite the darker color absorbing solar energy. Taking the heat absorbed by the solar electric panels into account as well as their power generation would be interesting.

A Google search for high albedo paving reveals existing activity in the roof and paving industry. A link to an EPA page about urban heat islands contains this ammo for my crusade against the cities:

Compared to rural areas, cities experience higher rates of heat-related illness and death. The heat island effect is one factor among several that can raise summertime temperatures to levels that pose a threat to public health.

There I go again.

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