Fighting Climate Change with White Paint

Painting roofs white could have a major impact on global carbon emissions, according to three scientists. But what may seem like a wacky idea has years of data to back it up.

"An Iranian-born nuclear engineer who, for the last three decades, has worked as a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Hashem Akbari would like to see $3 billion of the economic stimulus package directed toward painting white or a light color as many of the nation's roofs, and as much of its pavement, as possible - all with the goal of directing more solar radiation into space.

Akbari, along with Surabi Menon, another LBNL scientist, and Arthur Rosenfeld, a former LBNL scientist and now a California Energy Commission board member, claim that painting urban surfaces in warm parts of the world white or a light color could offset the carbon emissions of all 600 million of the world's cars for 18 to 20 years - at a savings equivalent to at least $1 trillion worth of CO2 reductions.

This is not a hoax: Akbari, Menon and Rosenfeld are three of the country's leading experts in their field, and their study published in the journal Climatic Change is backed by years of carefully calculated data."

Full Story: Is White the New Green?

Comments

Comments

Painting roofs white

In tropical climates, at least in India, this method of reducing heat absorption and its transmission within the dwellings has been practiced for centuries . I have a personal experience of painting the roof of my apartment on the top floor with white paint which reduced the temperature below by almost 5 degrees celsius
in the rural areas green creepers (vegetation )is used that covers the entire roof of a thatched hut keeping the inside cool in hot summers.

Yes it works¡

• Yes it works¡. Actually it has been working in mediterranean countries for ages.
We have recently published our research with evidences of a decrease in local temperatures by whitening extense surfaces, such as greenhouse farming development.
Here is the news at
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20026775.000-are-shiny-hothouses-k...
And at Reuters: How to solve greenhouse effect? Build greehouses
http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE4983OH20081009
The full scientific paper and a summary in english can be found in our web
http://www.ual.es/~pcampra

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