Research Brief: Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Pavement Albedo

Map of the United States with Albedo data overlaid
January 16, 2018

Albedo is the measure of how much solar energy is reflected by the Earth’s surface. Low albedo, or darker color, surfaces absorb more heat and reflect less shortwave radiation than high albedo, or lighter color, surfaces. Increasing pavement albedo has been considered as a strategy to mitigate impacts of climate change, but evaluating the effectiveness of such strategies requires context-specific data on climate conditions, including factors such as incoming solar radiation, solar angle, and cloud cover. This research brief discusses a CSHub-developed analytical approach to quantify global warming potential savings resulting from increases in pavement albedo. Read more.