Raise The Albedo

How can you help stop global warming? Most of us want to help, but don't know how. You can individually help stop global warming.

a picture of earth2 from space

First a little science. The problem is that too much of the sun's radiation is being absorbed in the atmosphere and on the earth's surface. Green-house gases allow high frequency radiation like ordinary visible light into the earth, but block lower frequency radiation like heat radiation from leaving the earth. They act like a one way mirror, energy comes in, but doesn't get back out.

"Albedo" (al-BEE-doh) means "The fraction of electromagnetic radiation reflected by a celestial body." Currently the albedo of the earth is about .30, which means 30% of the sun's energy is radiated back into space. We need to raise the albedo for earth and reflect more energy back into space thereby cooling our planet. It's fairly simple and you can help.

You can help raise the earth's albedo with the following steps:

  1. Become an advocate for "Cool Pavements".

    If we can change the color of the thousands of miles of parking lots and roads to a lighter shade, more radiation will be reflected back into space and cool our planet.

  2. Have a shiny metal roof on your house.

    Instead of dark shingles that absorb the heat, have a shiny metal roof or lighter colored shingles installed. Every day you will be pumping energy from earth into outer space thereby cooling the planet. For comercial buildings with flat tar roofs the alternative is to paint a black roof white.

    A "Cool Roof" cuts down on the energy needed for air conditioning. (Whether this is a net reduction of energy depends on where your house is located. In the far north, where heating costs far exceed cooling, your energy bill may be lower with a black roof since it warms your building in the winter.)

  3. Replace part of your lawn with a white gravel rock garden. White Rock Yard

    Instead of your grass absorbing heat, the white gravel will reflect radiation back into space. You will also lessen the use of water and fertilizer saving money in the process.

  4. Buy a white car. white car

    Dark colored cars absorb the sun's rays and turn them into heat, which is trapped by the green house gases. White cars reflect more of the sun's energy back into space, thereby cooling the planet. Every second your white car is in sunlight you are reducing the temperature of the planet - every second!