Glass coating could cool the Earth by reflecting the sun’s rays back into space

Glass coating could cool the Earth by reflecting the sun’s rays back into space
Earth rise as seen from a lunar orbit (Image: NASA)

Researchers have invented a highly reflective glass coating that could help cool a rapidly warming Earth. “The coating — a slurry-like mixture of inexpensive glass and aluminum oxide particles — could reflect high amounts of sunlight off of the surfaces on which it is painted, such as roofs of buildings and roads,” reports

Laboratory tests have shown it to reflect up to 99 percent of solar radiation back into space. If it pans out, the “cooling glass” could be a promising way to lower temperatures across Earth, researchers behind the new glass say.

“This ‘cooling glass’ is more than a new material — it’s a key part of the solution to climate change,” Xinpeng Zhao, a research scientist at the University of Maryland who led the new study, said in a statement. “This could change the way we live and help us take better care of our home and our planet.”electromagnetic spectrum that can pass through Earth’s atmosphere and escape into space without increasing its temperature, effectively using space as a heat sink.

Cooler weather created by the cooling effect of the glass and/or other climate change-fighting measures could help create would then prompt people to reduce using air conditioners, Zhao told

The team’s new ceramic-based paint, which comes in four colors, is novel in that it is durable for at least 30 years, thanks to its ability to withstand temperatures up to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius) as well as exposure to water and even flames, according to the new study.

“In that sense, I think this is certainly an interesting, potentially effective strategy,” Aaswath Raman, a professor of materials science at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the new study, told

Scientists recently engineered bionic silkworms that spin fibers six times stronger than Kevlar. They also developed genetically-modified bananas to keep the principal variety of banana from being wiped out by a dangerous blight.

Researchers discovered that a plant virus could be used to save crops from root-eating pests. A virus is being used to cure deafness in new gene therapy. A mutant tomato could save harvests around the world. Farmers have found they can increase crop yields by using electrical stimulation on their crops.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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