Friday, October 16, 2009

White Washing

I heard today that homes in california may be required to repaint their roofs white, or other 'light' colour, in a bid to fight Global Warming. I was curious about this so I looked up a few things and found, as usual, some conflicting views. Apparently this has already been done in Cali, since 2005, where new commercial buildings were required to have white roofs.

Here are some links talking about the pros (and cons) of white roofs and buildings (and roads):
American Society of Landscape Architects blog citing a UK Guardian report

An article from the California Chronicle by a geologist
Note the last half of this article, such as this excerpt:
""According to the theory white colour reflects half of the heat from its surface. If we colour our buildings with white, chances of reflecting more heat from the white surface will be high which will ultimately increase the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere and space many folds thrusting people to leave inside the house during day time. In other words we will dump more heat into the atmosphere....So before implementing this research it is essential to carry more research on this topic.""

My personal observation? I live in an area where we have snow on the ground 7-8 months of the year and on sunny days, your eyes are burning from all the light reflecting off the white snow. You have to wear sunglasses even if it's -40C outside because you are practically blinded. My bf is a truck driver and has to wear his almost all the time because even driving through farm land full of light brown/yellow grass and plants half blinds him. What would it be like driving on white roads 24/7? I'm just wondering, I don't know any stats on it - it's just a concern seeing as the past 2 days my eyes have been aching from the bright sun reflecting off the snow here. And it makes me wonder, if all areas were forced to do this, what would happen to us in the winter where we are desperately wanting a little warmth? We've only had 3 months without snow so far this year and it's been damn cold this past week (-12C a few mornings), do we want to add more brrrr? lol


  1. White surfaces would reflect short-wave radiation and immediately warm the atmosphere, black surfaces would absorb more of the radiation and then release it out into space at night in the form of long-wave radiation, which has much less affect on the atmosphere. So if they want to cool the atmosphere they have it 'bass-ackwards'.

    Morons involved in environmental policy are a far greater danger to the planet than surface colours.

  2. Thanks for that! I can just imagine us frying the planet BECAUSE of following policies supposedly set up to help it. But then it wouldn't surprise me much.

    I keep joking that maybe we should be trying to warm the planet and keep on truckin and driving and belching fumes into the atmosphere in case it actually ends up holding back the next ice age a wee tiny bit. It's fricken cold here, we had snow til June and then in the first week of August. No fall, hardly any spring.... and now bam straight into winter. Bring me somma that global warming please!

  3. Lol...Can you imagine if these "scientists" actually spent their time researching something positive. What a world that would be!


  4. oops my bad I just noticed a typo- we had snow in the first week of October, not August (duh). July Aug Sept were the only months without snow on the ground so far.

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