More blacktop equals more heat? You decide

Posted: August 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Ah, the fresh smell of asphalt. There’s nothing like that intense odor in summer time, NOT! OK, I’m grateful that my local government has paved my street with fresh blacktop. We were overdue for a new coating after 20 years what with cracks and minor potholes.

These days I wonder if there’s an alternative to blacktop since the science community says that more blacktop roads add to the summertime” heat island” in the metro. Really, more blacktop equals a more intense “heat island?”

The “more blacktop roads theory” is not exactly preposterous since we all should know that darker colors means more heat. This is why so many school districts put white roofs on school buses to cool off those vehicles and hopefully cool off the kids. Cooler kids means less bus trouble – or so that theory says.

But what exactly is this “heat island?” Apparently meteorologists inform us that metro areas like Atlanta produce this area of more intense heat than the less populated areas. Makes perfect sense, right?

Experts go on to say that more intense daytime heating within the heat islands feeds those afternoon storms which translate into more powerful lightning storms. More lightning fires occur and that is something fire and police departments across the nation must not be enchanted with one bit.

Of course, one may also conclude that more of our activity contributes to the summertime heat island including fewer trees from construction, home and car air-conditioning and of course, vehicle exhaust.

I’m not sure if all of these findings are definitive, but that’s quite disturbing if it is all true.

OK, now for the dose of what’s more than well-known: heat island or no heat island, it’s more than obvious that August is a challenging hot month in metro Atlanta and the rest of the Southeastern U.S. Is there a way that we can collectively do things to reduce summertime temps? What do you think?

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