1) Due to the Urban Heat Island effect, many cities are 2 to 4 degrees Celsius warmer than the countryside. Urban infrastructure like buildings and pavements absorb more heat, causing this heat pollution in cities. The Urban Heat Island effect also increases water and air conditioning costs.
2) “Gray infrastructure” uses cooler surfaces and reflective coatings to reflect 30-50 percent more sunlight. These cooler infrastructure like streets with reflective coatings can combat heat pollution. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are using Computational Fluid Dynamics modeling to find ways to decrease cost and increase usage of cooler surfaces.
3) The researchers found that building structures with cooler surfaces upwind in a city can cool the warm air as it blows downwind to the rest of the city, effectively cooling the city at a fraction of the cost.
The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Journal source: Nature Communications
Limited application of reflective surfaces can mitigate urban heat pollution
09 June 2021