The paper models the high-level global impact of increasing surface reflectivity (albedo). For the continental US, the land surface temperature decreased by ∼0.03 K for an average 0.01 increase in surface albedo. Based on these forcings, the expected emitted CO2 offset for a plausible 0.25 and 0.15 increase in albedos of roofs and pavements, respectively, for all global urban areas, was found to be ∼57 Gt CO2. A more meaningful evaluation of the impacts of urban albedo increases on global climate and the expected CO2 offsets would require simulations which better characterize urban surfaces and represent the full annual cycle.
Surabi Menon, Hashem Akbari, Sarith Mahanama, Igor Sednev and Ronnen Levinson, 2010: Radiative forcing and temperature response to changes in urban albedos and associated CO2 offsets. Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (January-March 2010) 014005
Hashem Akbari (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL))
Sarith Mahanama (National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA))
Igor Sednev (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL))
Ronnen Levinson (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL))
Source: Environmental Resources Letters
Publication Date: January 2010