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SYNCOOL Narrative

SYNCOOL explores the notion of photosynthesis-driven cooling. A tree acts as an organic refrigerator by converting carbon dioxide (CO2) from the surrounding atmosphere into biomass by means of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis conversely acts as an organic engine to convert a portion of the incident solar energy into biomass. Whereas a single tree in isolation may simply act as an extended a large umbrella, the shading/cooling becomes more pronounced as the number of trees increases. Thus, in a residential park, or in a forest, the total cooling/chilling effect of a collection of trees becomes greatly pronounced due to the collective efficacy of solar energy to biomass conversion. In a forest, where intertwined branches and foliage of tall, mature trees amass, the crowns of dominant trees receive most of the sunlight, and produce organic nutrients as a consequence of photosynthesis. The elevated foliaged canopy forms a shady, protective "umbrella" over the rest of the forest. In such an arboreal continuum, ALL incipient solar energy may be converted into biomass, yielding a commensurate decrease in ambient temperature. Using a computational model, a twenty-foot forest canopy in the limit of perfection can yield a net cooling effect as high as ten degrees Fahrenheit.