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2012-09-13. Parking Lot Science: Is Black Best?

posted Sep 14, 2012, 7:33 PM by Alan Gould
| by Julie Chao, Berkeley Lab Newsletter. An article relevant to GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 5. Excerpt:  …when it seems like you could fry an egg on the pavement …it’s not just the beating sun that’s driving up the temperature. …most of our paved surfaces are dark, absorbing almost all of the sunlight that shines down on them. In a typical city, pavements account for 35 to 50 percent of surface area, …“It’s amazing how hot these pavements get and how we’ve let them cover most of our urban surfaces,” said Haley Gilbert, a researcher in the Heat Island Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). …To combat this problem, Berkeley Lab scientists have been studying “cool pavement” technologies. …cool pavements reflect as much as 30 to 50 percent of the sun’s energy, compared to only 5 percent for new asphalt  …The benefits of cool pavements extend beyond just cooling the local ambient air. They can also impact global warming and energy loads. Dark roofs and dark pavements both contribute to global warming by absorbing large amounts of solar energy stored in sunlight, then radiating the energy back into the atmosphere in the form of heat… Read the full article: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2012/09/13/parking-lot-science/