Summers are severely hot indeed, especially in the cities compared to their surrounding countryside. The phenomenon of dark roof surfaces getting replaced by white have been noticed to reduce the lower heat wave temperatures to a nominal yet significant extent. Moreover, considering the increasing occurrences of natural calamities due to climate change and rising urbanization, this initiative of progressive residential geoengineering has achieved great popularity for maintaining the temperatures within homes.
Delving into the Deeper
The climatic phenomenon of the urban temperature rise has started since the advent of giant cities in the era of 19th century. The materials which, are used for developing most of the roads and city buildings do not reflect and rather absorb most of the solar radiation compared to the vegetation being replaced by them. Thus, they radiate a certain proportion of the energy into the atmosphere in the form of heat.
Considering the scenario, darker surfaces releases more amount of heat. It has been observed that; fresh asphalt reflects just around 4% of solar radiation compared to an average of 25% being reflected by natural grasslands and an average 90% being reflected by white surfaces like fresh snow.
Initiating the Movement
Numerous small-scale programs are being taken in the cities every year for increasing the ability of solar radiation reflectivity in cities and promote global warming prevention. Alike different cities all around the world, especially in much of North America, Europe and Asia, a myriad of cool roof initiatives have been implemented in Australia, especially Melbourne. All these are encouraging the owners to reduce the inner temperature of individual buildings, however, are limited to the benefit of the occupants instead of contributing to cool the entire city or neighborhood.
. Though the efficiency of such small-scale programs is considered to be quite anecdotal, however, multiple studies are conducted nowadays for accumulating the evidence that the advantages of transforming this 1 percent into almost 100 percent can certainly be revolutionary for saving many lives every year.
. Another promising option is to cover the roofs with foliage other than whitewashing the roofs. Studies have shown that; apart from making the summers cooler for you and your family at home, they also serve as an insulating device for keeping them warmer in winters.
. There is a third option as well which, can be adopted by the urban population for reducing the extent of heat released by roofs. Covering the roofs with photovoltaic cells can work wonders for city dwellers since they are dark and will not reflect much amount of solar radiation into the space. However, their main purpose is to absorb the energy and transform that into low-carbon electricity.
On a concluding note, reflective surfaces are certainly making a drastic impact in cooling down the environment, both in the cities and countryside, thereby contributing towards global warming prevention. Photovoltaic cell arrays, whitewashed walls and stubble-enveloped fields are expected to provide relief to the urbane in the sweltering times. Considering the same, efforts are being made these days for handling the local geoengineering aspects with care.