Using urban adaptation strategies like green roof, cool roof, and hybrid technologies can help offset not only future climate warming due to urban expansion but also temperature increases driven by greenhouse gases, suggest researchers.
Recent modeling studies have suggested that in the absence of adaptive urban design the spread of population centers in the US during the coming century could raise temperatures by as many as 3 degrees - independently of greenhouse gas-induced warming.
Using a suite of regional climate simulations, Matei Georgescu and colleagues assessed the ability of commonly proposed urban adaptation strategies, such as green roofs, cool roofs, and hybrid approaches to ameliorate the warming due solely to so-called megapolitan expansion.
According to the authors, the simulations revealed that judicious planning and design choices can not only counteract rising temperatures due to increasing urban sprawl but also offset a significant portion of anticipated greenhouse gas-driven warming, at scales that extend beyond individual cities to large swaths of the country.
According to the authors, urban-induced climate change depends on specific geographic factors that must be assessed when choosing optimal approaches, as opposed to universal solutions.