Paint your roofs white, reduce global warming

A new modeling study has determined that painting your roofs white can help reduce the effects of global warming in the city.

Lighter Roofs Could Save $1Billion USD Annually

According to a report in Live Science, the study simulated the effects of painting roofs white to reflect incoming solar rays and found that it could help cool cities and reduce the effects of global warming.

“Our research demonstrates that white roofs, at least in theory, can be an effective method for reducing urban heat,” said Keith Oleson, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

“It remains to be seen if it’s actually feasible for cities to paint their roofs white, but the idea certainly warrants further investigation,” he added.

Cities are particularly vulnerable to climate change because of a phenomenon known as the urban heat island effect.

The asphalt roads, tar roofs and other artificial surfaces that permeate cities absorb heat from the sun, making temperatures in urban areas on average 2 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 3 degrees Celsius) higher than in rural areas.

“It’s critical to understand how climate change will affect vulnerable urban areas, which are home to most of the world’s population,” said NCAR scientist Gordon Bonan, a co-author of the study.

White roofs could reflect some of that heat back to space and cool temperatures, because white surfaces reflect most of the light that hits them, while black surfaces absorb most of that light.

Oleson and his team used a newly developed computer model to simulate the amount of solar radiation absorbed or reflected by urban surfaces.

The model simulations, which are idealized representations of cities, suggest that, if every roof were entirely painted white, the urban heat island effect could be reduced by about a third.

Such a reduction would cool the world’s cities by an average of about 0.7 degrees F (0.4 degrees C), with the cooling influence more noticeable during the day, especially in the summer.

White roofs could also cool temperatures inside buildings, which could change the amount of energy used for space heating and air conditioning.

This in turn could affect the consumption of fossil fuels, which generate many of the greenhouse gases responsible for Earth’s warming.

From TOI

Global warming may take a pause in India: study

Kiel/Germany: A study conducted in Germany suggests that at least over the next five years there will be no effects of global warming in India. In fact, there may be some cooling.

GLOBAL COOLING: Scientists conducted study of ocean currents and temperatures to arrive at the theory.

“We made a forecast till 2015. What we see in our forecast is that global warming will basically take a pause, also in Asia, in South Asia and especially in India. Warming may not continue till 2015” says Prof Mojib Latif.

Scientists conducted an extensive study of ocean currents and temperatures to arrive at the theory. Whats more, they say, the cooling trend may well continue beyond 2015.

“In principle, natural fluctuations can lead to a pause of global warming for an even longer time, until 2020 or 2025. However, this then would also mean that there after global warming will be accelerated by the same processes” said Latif.

The happy side to the forecast may well be that we can look to cooler summers in India over the next many years.


With discipline environmental problems can be tackled

Call to increase forest cover from 20 per cent to 33 per cent; learn a great deal from tribals

People must come on a common platform to deal with issues like climate change

Preserve Nilgiri mountain ecosystem for future generation

Udhagamandalam: If people are disciplined problems relating to the environment can be tackled, observed the Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Rajiv K. Srivastava at Coonoor on Saturday.

Delivering the valedictory address at the week-long International Climate Champions Field Camp organised by the British Council and the Nilgiris Documentation Centre (NDC), Mr. Srivastava said that people must come on a common platform to deal with issues like climate change.

Expressing confidence that climate change can be dealt with, he said that the forest cover which was about 20 per cent should be increased to 33 per cent.

Pointing out that human beings were the cruellest form of life on earth, Mr. Srivastava said that egos should be put on the back burner and steps taken to protect the mute population.

Stating that the shola-grassland eco-system of the Nilgiris is unique, he said destruction of exotic species should not be encouraged.

He added that a great deal can be learnt from the tribals.

The Director (South), British Council, Chris Gibson said that many of the challenges facing contemporary society today are global in dimension. Among them are terrorism, extremism and climate change.

Work together

Stating that the world is inter-connected and the repercussions or impacts are felt globally, he opined that solutions require the global community to work together in a collaborative manner.

The Nilgiri mountain ecosystem is one of the most beautiful ecosystems of the world and “we need to preserve and protect it not just for future generations to enjoy but also in the context of the relentless climate change battle, for mountain ecosystems are important carbon sinks,” he added.

The Director, NDC, Dharmalingam Venugopal welcomed the gathering.

Observations recorded

By forming themselves into different groups, the climate champions recorded their observations and offered suggestions to “make the world a better place to live in”.

The Deputy Director, British Council, Kartar Singh proposed a vote of thanks.


Mettur Dam Water Level: Sunday, Jan 31, 2010

TIRUCHI: The water level in the Mettur dam stood at 76.87 feet on Saturday against its full level of 120 feet. The inflow was 822 cusecs and discharge, nil.


People urged to increase use of non-conventional energy

Call to harness the potential of renewable energy sources

SALEM: Government, educational institutions and private organisations should join hands and work together to promote the use of non-conventional energy sources among people, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India, Deepak Gupta has said.

He was delivering the keynote address at a conference on Bio-Methanation Plants and Biomass Gasifier Systems for Sago, Poultry, Paper, Jaggery, Distillery and Textile industries held here on Saturday.

The conference was organised by the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA).

“We cannot rely on fossil fuels for long as they are depleting very fast. We should realise the importance of new and renewable energy sources such as solar and wind,” Mr. Deepak Gupta said.

The government had come up with the solar energy mission and was actively implementing a number of programmes and research projects to take advantage of the renewable energy sources.


The extensive use of conventional energy sources had already resulted in huge irreversible damage to the environment.

“The mindset of the people needs a change and they should understand the growing concerns about the environment,” he stressed.

The country has a huge potential for generating power from solar, wind and small hydro projects, he said and appealed to all the people in the society to come forward to work together to increase the use of renewable energy sources.

Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Chairman C.P. Singh said that the State had taken lead in promoting the use of non-conventional energy sources in the country.

Though problems exist in the generation, transmission and distribution of power generated through renewable energy sources, the State government has brought in a number of measures to encourage people to use green energy, he said.

TEDA Chairman and Managing Director R. Christodas Gandhi also spoke. Officials from various government departments, representatives from educational institutions and private organisations attended the conference.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has an ambitious plan of doubling the total power generation using non-conventional energy sources within the next ten years, Secretary to the Ministry, Deepak Gupta has said.

Talking to media persons on the sidelines of a national conference held here on Saturday, he said that about nine percent of the total power generation in the country came from non-conventional energy sources.

“We are aiming to double this capacity within the next decade,” he said. The Ministry was carrying out studies to promote power generation using biomass. “There is a huge potential for generating power from biomass,” he said.

Apart from promoting the solar and wind energy projects, the Ministry gives more importance to small hydro projects, he added.

The Ministry had also taken steps in order to bring down the cost of solar energy systems, which would encourage more people to utilise solar power technologies for their energy requirements, he said.