How much cooler could a city be if it shaded its hard space?



  1. 0 Votes

    It could actually make the city warmer. Lighter color things, like clouds, have higher albedo, that means they tend to reflect more solar/terrestrial radiation. Darker color things, like asphalt, have lower albedo which means they reflect less radiation and absorb more.

    Now consider two hypothetical examples. One: You cover the city with something light colored, like a white tarp, which has high albedo. This would reflect solar energy, which would cool the city, but it would also reflect the earths terrestrial radiation back at the city. If you used a black tarp it would absorb much more incoming solar radiation, which would warm the city, it would also absorb terrestrial energy. This would enhance the urban heat island effect already present in metropolitan areas.

    Depending on what material you used to cover the city, and how it was engineered, it could theoretically serve to cool the city. It could also possibly cause a warming effect, especially at night.

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