Pat Shingleton: "Painting Your Roof..."
Luke Howard was the first to classify clouds in London in 1820. He also identified urban heat islands 200 years ago, suggesting that buildings, people and industry create isolated areas of heat within a city. The heat island effect is caused by urban materials absorbing and radiating solar heat. Data released in Geophysical Research Letters advanced a solution to decrease urban heat is painting all roofs white. Reflecting solar radiation using white paint on urban roofs was discussed by environmental groups for decades and now is another example of adjusting to climate change. Weatherwise magazine notes that asphalt roads, tar roofs and similar city surfaces absorb the sun’s heat and can raise temperatures by to 2 to 5 degrees. On May 25, 1955 an intense tornado struck Udall, Kansas. The twister killed 77, leveled the city and at that time was designated as the deadliest tornado in the state’s history. The nation’s single deadliest tornado occurred in Joplin, Missouri last Sunday. Jerrold Hoffman was a survivor of the Udall storm and three years ago he championed an effort to aid another Kansas town that was also ravaged. In May 2008, a tornado killed 10 and destroyed Greensburg, Kansas leveling the town’s buildings but also uprooted and killed 2,000 trees. A one-day project by the 72-year-old Hoffman, turned into a tree-planting project. By soliciting residents and retirees the planted trees now encircle the entire city. Udall now has healthy trees following their storm.