Many people head for the thermostat to cool things down indoors when it gets hot outside. The problem is, running our air conditioner only makes the problem worse by adding to the strain on an already overworked energy grid, and increasing the amount of carbon in the air. This is especially true during extreme heat events. And for vulnerable populations without access to air conditioning, extreme heat could be – and often is – life-threatening.
That’s why cities are looking at other ways to naturally reduce the urban heat island effect. White roofs, reflective surfaces, and planting trees all add up to cooler temperatures as we deal with the increasingly real effects of climate change.