Could White Roofs Help Stop Global Warming?

Cities are hotter than rural areas – between 2 and 5 degrees hotter to be precise – because a lot of the materials used in their construction absorb heat instead of reflecting it. Asphalt roads, tar roofs and other artificial surfaces that make up cities trap sunlight, heating the area around it and intensifying the effects of global warming.

So geniuses at the National Center for Atmospheric Research had a brilliant thought – why not just paint the roofs of buildings white?

“Our research demonstrates that white roofs, at least in theory, can be an effective method for reducing urban heat,” said Keith Oleson, researcher at NCAR and the author of the study. “It remains to be seen if it’s actually feasible for cities to paint their roofs white, but the idea certainly warrants further investigation.”

Oleson’s computer simulations posit some very interesting data – the overall temperature of cities could be reduced by .7 degrees if all the roofs in said city were painted white. Additionally, as buildings with white roofs are less hot, they require less air conditioning, which in turn uses less electricity, which could help abate global warming.

Not bad work for a bucket of house paint and a dream!

Source & Photo Source: MSNBC

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