White Roofs Are Combating Climate Change, Here’s How
Climate change is a major issue impacting the lives of billions of individuals. People across the globe are seeing the effects of climate change. From famine to floods, climate change is the result of normal climate patterns worsened by human activity and inactivity. Activities that have fueled climate change include the burning of fossil fuels and discharge of waste into waterways. The inactions that have added to climate change include failing to conserve resources and address local sources of pollution. We know climate change is an issue and we know we are to blame. What next?
You might think there’s little you can do, however, there’s one simple fix that will drastically reduce temperatures not only globally but locally too. White roofs are just what you might think they are. They are roofs that are white. White roofs are growing in popularity, not just because they’ve been proven to aid in the fight against climate change but also because they reduce energy costs. Here’s how.
White roofs originally began to show up on structures with flat roofs. In St. Louis, flat roofs are much easier to update and are often found on commercial structures. White roofs were introduced as a way to reduce energy costs. White roofs are able to reduce energy costs by reflecting the sun’s rays. Lighter colors reflect most of the sun’s rays or energy back out into the atmosphere while darker colors absorb those rays and generate heat at the surface. By painting a roof white, the sun’s energy isn’t absorbed by the structure’s roof and therefore, doesn’t generate heat. This allowed businesses to cool their buildings more efficiently.
However, white roofs aren’t just a great way to save money. Reflecting the sun’s energy back into space and away from the lower levels of the atmosphere, work wonders on temperature both at the surface and globally.
When the sun’s energy is trapped beneath the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere, temperatures not only increase near the Earth’s surface but also globally. That heat contributes to the overall rise in temperature. Rising temperatures are one of the major factors that influence climate change. By reflecting the sun’s energy away from the surface and back out into space and the upper levels of the atmosphere, higher temperatures can be avoided.
White roofs are quickly gaining in popularity especially among economically and environmentally conscious businesses. However, it’s not too far off in the future that white roofs will likely be widely available. If you’re looking to go a step further, why not invest in a green roof?