Pablo Campra, a scientist from Almeria and a professor at the University of Almeria (UAL), has just published a key research in the prestigious American journal Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) in which he proves that the greenhouses of Almería are able to cool the local temperature by reflecting sunlight from their plastic covers.
The simulation was carried out by a complex physical and computer model that proves that the average reduction of the maximum temperatures in summer is of more than 0.4°C and more than 1.3ºC on really hot days.
Pablo Campra, who named this phenomenon of weather modification due to the high solar reflectance of the protected agriculture in Almeria the Aledo Effect, discovered it in 2008. The analysis of the historical records of the temperatures at the Campo de Dalias, taken at the stations of La Mojonera (IFAPA) and Palmerillas-Cajamar, showed that, despite global and regional warming (+0.4°C per decade in the south of Spain), the annual average temperatures of the agricultural region not only hadn't increased in the last 30 years, but showed a marked cooling trend of -0.3°C per decade.
The new study not only confirms that this cooling trend still continues, but also offers a geophysical explanation of the phenomenon, based on a climate model that has been developed through the use of powerful supercomputers in the Department of Energy of the United States.
These supercomputers have enormous computing power, equivalent to 10,000 computers online, needed to build highly complex models such as the Earth's climate system. This research has been supported by the Department of Energy of the United States, where the phenomenon in Almeria it has aroused great interest as the principle could be applied in metropolitan areas by whitening the ceilings and pavements which could significantly reduce the summer temperatures, energy consumption and pollution.