DISCUSSION: In recent days and weeks, the city of Los Angeles, California has made strides to work on fighting against the impacts of the infamous "urban heat island" effect. The "urban heat island" effect is a geographically-driven tendency wherein more urban regions are more prone to encountering greater amounts of increased localized daytime maximum temperatures. This is a direct result of the fact that in more urban areas there is often much more developed infrastructure along with more paved roads with black-top. This increased presence of black-top across the more urbanized towns and cities allow for more absorption of incoming shortwave radiation from the Sun which ultimately induces a positive feedback loop that favors hotter temperatures on a localized scale.
However, the city of Los Angeles, California is working to fight back against their local version of the "urban heat island" effect by painting their streets with white paint. Due to the lighter nature of the white-colored streets across certain parts of the city, this facilitates street-top temperatures of roughly 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit less than those painted black. As a result of this major temperature differential, this also has major consequences for energy interests since such major difference in maximum surface temperatures creates major differences in demands with respect to variable amounts of air conditioning requested by energy customers across the region. Thus, it will continue to be interesting to see how much of a difference this makes in Los Angeles, California moving forward since it may be advantageous to do in other cities across the United States and around the world as well.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz