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Researchers test cool pavement technologies


Narrator:       This is Science Today. In a typical city, pavements account for up to half of the surface area and, during sweltering weather, dark pavement that absorbs more sunlight can cause a significant spike in temperature. Called the "heat island effect," the concern has been its potential impact on human health, global warming and energy loads. To address this, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have formed the Heat Island Group to study "cool pavement technologies."

Mandel:         Cool pavements are paved surfaces that are more effective at reflecting sunlight. So, by reflecting more sunlight than traditional paved surfaces, they're able to absorb less heat from the sun and keep cities and communities cooler.

Narrator:       Benjamin Mandel, a graduate student who is part of the Heat Island Group, says their team is currently demonstrating and testing six different shades and colors of cool pavement coatings over sections of parking lots at the Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Davis.

Mandel:         So, we can actually monitor those samples and get results and see how they fare and perform over time.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.