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Ultrawhite paint could cool buildings and combat climate change

Air conditioning may be a blessing on hot days, but it’s also a major source of carbon dioxide emissions the world over. In recent years, researchers have devised plastic films and paints that can cool surfaces to a lower temperature than the surrounding air by radiating heat out into space. Now, researchers have come up with a new ultrawhite paint that one-ups the competition, they report this week in Cell Reports Physical Science. Not only does it cool surfaces below ambient temperatures at night—as other materials have done—but it can also cool them by 1.7°C in the heat of the day. The paint’s makeup should also make it easier to produce in bulk, BBC reports. That could be useful for cooling everything from apartment buildings to data centers with less power.

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