Surface Based Options

It has been proposed that global warming could be slowed by whitening roofs to reflect more sunlight back to space (Akbari et al., 2009). Under certain circumstances, whiter roofs could both reduce heating costs and help keep the Earth cool by reflecting sunlight back to space. Others have proposed growing more reflective crops (Ridgwell et al., 2009). Both approaches, if applied on a global scale, could potentially yield a modest cooling effect (The Royal Society, 2009), and white roofs also have the potential for co-benefits such as reducing urban heat islands (see Chapter 12). To date, studies indicate limited potential for such approaches, and the efficacy and environmental consequences of these approaches have yet to be carefully studied.

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