Jeremy Munday on ‘Superheroic’ White Paint that May Cool the Earth

Purdue University’s new ultra-white paint is a good but not long-term solution for rising global temperatures, says Munday

Purdue University scientists have developed an ultra-white paint capable of reflecting 98 percent of sunlight, an advancement that Jeremy Munday told the New York Times is a promising short-term solution to rising global temperatures. Munday is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis, who researches clean technology.  

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Jeremy Munday
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Jeremy Munday (Reeta Asmai, Josh Moy/UC Davis)

Munday calculated that if we coated 1 to 2 percent of the earth — that’s just over half the size of the Sahara Desert — with reflective materials such as the new paint, we could halt the rise of global temperatures. Yet, covering that much contiguous space on the earth would threaten wildlife and could disrupt weather patterns.  

Even with that caveat, Munday notes powerful applications of the paint, such as spreading radiative cooling spots all over the world for both global and local cooling benefits. 

“This is something you can do short term to mitigate worse problems while trying to get everything under control,” Munday said.

Read the full article in The New York Times  

Primary Category