Urban Heat Island Effect Bigger Than We Thought

Remember when the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” were first mentioned? Now it’s commonplace. I just read how a research meteorologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is suggesting that big cities in North America and Asia may generate enough heat to warm areas  as far north as Canada and Siberia as much as 1.8 degrees.

In general, the heat gathered from the urban heat island effect rises and travels upwards and its energy may change high-altitude currents in the atmosphere that dictate prevailing weather. Meteorologists have known that cities are warmer than rural areas with cars, buildings, asphalt and roofs that absorb heat. That’s the basis for the urban island heat effect.  And until now, researchers thought the heat stayed close to the cities.

While this climate model concerns me, I wonder. What if every home, school, skyscraper, office complex, shopping mall, hospital and dog house had a green roof or a living wall? What if downtown high-rises had rooftop gardens and parks? Studies show the cooling provided by these additions would also lower energy consumption. Could the introduction of more Living Architecture reverse these new suggested patterns?

I am no scientist, but I do daydream and I like to picture how adding green  to our living and work areas like vegetated rooftops, living walls, even a skyscraper park could help reduce greenhouse gases and perhaps even modify the urban heat on global weather systems! And every time I go up on our own rooftop garden here at the office I look at the rooftops of buildings nearby and wonder.

What if they were Green too?