White Roofs = Cooler Earth

According to the WSJ (27 May 2010):

President Obama’s energy and climate officials have a habit of touting geoengineering as a solution to climate change.

The latest?  Energy secretary Steven Chu, who while in London pitched an idea from his former colleagues at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:  painting roofs white to reflect sunlight can make a huge difference in global warming.

For the best results, the roofs need to be flat.  However, most roofs are sloped.  Using cool-colors on sloped roof is still useful but the global-warming benefits are reduced.

Proponents of the idea tout other advantages–reflective surfaces also reduce tempertures in urgan “hear islands,” and reduce the need for air-conditioning, which in turn reduces the demand for electricity, which generates its own greenhouse-gas emissions.

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This entry was posted in "Green" Homes, geoengineering, Navajoland. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to White Roofs = Cooler Earth

  1. Jess says:

    Earlier this year we did an emergency roof replacement, due to a serious leak. We took advantage of a SLC government program that provides a project manager for large renovations, at no charge. The project manager was great – he redesigned a weak area on our roof, as well as obtained multiple bids from trusted contractors, & monitored the progress throughout. He also held our money in escrow until the project was fully inspected. It was a nice program. Anyway, he strongly encouraged us to get a white roof. He was very interested in the environmental benefits, especially if large groups of homes all did the same. In the end, we chose not to get a white roof… Sadly, we were concerned about the effect on the resale value of our home. It was also more expensive. I think it’s a really cool idea though, & it would be cool if this could be incorporated into entire neighborhoods of new builds.

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