Monday, June 11, 2007

The idea of increasing albedo never really went away

Mark Kleiman follows Jane Galt in asking what happened to the idea of increasing surface albedo in urban areas. Mark shouldn't have followed Galt so closely - the fact that she didn't put a link to her statement that "doing that (worldwide) could change the albedo of the earth enough to make a significant dent in global warming" is the first clue that she got the idea wrong.

The main point isn't to increase global albedo, it's to decrease the urban heat island effect that otherwise pumps up air conditioning usage and local smog. Some info here, and more than you could want is on Google. Green roofs, for example, also combat UHI and not incidentally have a higher albedo than blacktop. The idea is still being explored and developed.

Basically, the idea of increasing albedo never went away.

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