As the largest wildfire in Los Angeles history scorches the edge of a city experiencing record-breaking temperatures, LA street workers have started painting streets white as part of a larger effort to tackle warming average temps head-on. Technically, the paint is a very light gray called CoolSeal, and it could lower the temps of black asphalt streets and parking lots by 10 degrees, reports Popular Science. "This is an urgent challenge, and it's much bigger than one person," LA Mayor Eric Garcetti recently said. "Climate change is a fact of life that people in Los Angeles and cities around the world live with every day."
The material was initially developed for military air bases so that spy planes idling on blistering hot tarmacs could stay cool. And it worked, so pilot projects sprung up in Encino and Canoga Park; road temps dropped from 93 to 70 degrees in one instance, and a parking lot plummeted from 160 to 130 degrees, reports Geek.com. Streets in all 15 of LA's electoral districts have been coated. The project follows on the heels of a push three years ago for residents to earn rebates if they painted their dark roofs white, and there's been encouragement to plant more trees for shade as well. (This summer became too hot for planes to even fly in Phoenix.)