White Roofs Could Reduce Urban Heating

White could possibly be the latest shade to paint your roofs in. Based on a new modeling study that looked into the effects painted roofs had on cooling and the effects of global warming, it revealed that white was the best option to reflect solar rays, keeping cities cooler, and will help cut back on global warming.

Researchers, however, state that the feasibility of painting entire towns in white is yet to be determined. US Energy Secretary Steven Chu as well as other environmental policymakers seem to fully support the initiative, especially now, since scientific evidence is available to back it up.

Keith Oleson, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo said that the research carried out indicates that white roofs could possibly be one of the most effective steps to take to cut down on urban heat. The practicality of the initiative is yet to be determined and Olsen said the new find was good enough to be looked into further.
The urban heat effect is known to affect cities especially susceptible to climate change. The phenomenon is owed to artificial surfacing such as tar roofs and asphalt roads that absorb solar heat, and which raises city temperatures by approximately two to five degrees Fahrenheit more than rural areas.

White surfaces generally reflect light, which hits it, which means that white roofs could possibly reflect some of the heat, making temperatures cooler as opposed to black surfaces that would naturally absorb most of the heat.

If the scheme works, cities across the world could witness a drop of around 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit in temperature levels.