Los Angeles is painting its streets white to protect itself from climate change

Los Angeles is painting its streets white to protect itself from climate change

Unusually warm weather bears the mark of climate change, which is increasing heat around the world , as well as other catastrophes .

While some American politicians scoff at climate change, Los Angeles officials are tackling the problem with a radical plan to lower the city’s temperature .

White against heat

Mayor Eric Garcetti intends to reduce the average temperature in Los Angeles by 3 degrees Fahrenheit over the next two decades. As part of that effort, the streets of are receiving a new coat of paint .

Cities tend to be sparsely tree-lined, which provide shade, and are covered in black pavement, which absorbs heat from the sun. Like a black shirt it absorbs light, heating it up. But a white shirt reflects light, keeping the wearer cool .

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The average temperature in a city of a million or more people can be five to fifteen degrees Celsius higher than in surrounding areas. To combat this heat island effect, Los Angeles is coating its roads with CoolSeal , a gray paint that keeps streets cooler than black asphalt .

Engineers developed the material for military air bases to keep spy planes cool while they rest on the runway. This can help them avoid detection by satellite-mounted infrared cameras, which measure heat.

This system will also save money on air conditioning systems used in businesses and private homes, and will reduce the consequences of pollution .

But to combat climate change , other strategies will be carried out , such as planting more trees and applying white paint to roofs (at least those that are no longer covered by solar panels). Other cities, like New York, are already experimenting with reflective roofs, and like Melbourne it is trying to lower temperatures by planting more trees as well.