Global Cooling: Policies to Cool the World and Offset Global Warming from CO2 Using Reflective Roofs and Pavements

Increasing the solar reflectance of the urban surface reduce its solar heat gain, lowers its temperatures, and decreases its outflow of thermal infrared radiation into the atmosphere. This process of “negative radiative forcing” can help counter the effects of global warming. In addition, cool roofs reduce cooling-energy use in air conditioned buildings and increase comfort in unconditioned buildings; and cool roofs and cool pavements mitigate summer urban heat islands, improving outdoor air quality and comfort. Installing cool roofs and cool pavements in cities worldwide is a compelling win-win-win activity that can be undertaken immediately, outside of international negotiations to cap CO2 emissions. We propose an international campaign to use solar reflective materials when roofs and pavements are built or resurfaced in temperate and tropical regions.

Suggested citation or credit:

H. Akbari, R. Levinson, A. Rosenfeld, M. Elliott. “Global cooling: policies to cool the world and offset global warming from CO2 using reflective roofs and pavements.” Presented at the Second International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Islands, Berkeley, CA, 21–23 September (2009)

Source: Second International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Islands

Publication Date: September 2009

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