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Cool Roofs Might Be Enough to Save Cities from Climate Overheating

(Scientific American) Crickets chirp and bees buzz from sedum flower to flower atop the post office in midtown Manhattan during a visit to the 9th Avenue facility on a perfect New York City fall day. On a sprawling roof that covers most of a city block a kind of park has been laid, sucking up carbon dioxide and other air pollution, filtering rainfall, making it less acidic.
Such verdant roofs may form part of an effective strategy for both cooling buildings and helping combat climate change, according to new research… Other solutions cited in the study include white roofs that reflect more sunlight back to space or hybrid roofs that combine aspects of white and green, or planted, roofs.
A large enough number of such roofs could "completely offset warming due to urban expansion and even offset a percentage of future greenhouse warming over large regional scales," says sustainability scientist Matei Georgescu at Arizona State University, who lead the research. That conclusion contradicts previous findings by researchers from Stanford University, who found that reflective roofs actually might increase global warming.
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