Catch 22

Most of us love our air-conditioning.

I don’t have it at home, but I do at work.

But here’s a thought; the more we use air-conditioning, the more air-conditioning we need – Catch 22

Air conditioning raising night-time temperatures in the US

Heat from cooling systems now raises some urban temperatures by more than 1C at night, reports Climate News Network

Air conditioning in Phoenix is now raising night-time temperatures Photograph: Witold Skrypczak/Alamy

Researchers in the US have identified a way in which city-dwellers are inadvertently stoking up the heat of the night – by installing air conditioners.

Because the cities are getting hotter as the climate changes, residents are increasingly investing in aircon systems − which discharge heat from offices and apartment blocks straight into the city air. And the vicious circle effect is that cities get still warmer, making air conditioning all the more attractive to residents.

According to scientists at Arizona State University, the air conditioning system is now having a measurable effect. During the days, the systems emit waste heat, but because the days are hot anyway, the difference is negligible. At night, heat from air conditioning systems now raises some urban temperatures by more than 1C.

Source: The Guardian Read more

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7 responses to this post.

  1. We have never had airconditioning. In summer, when temperatures soar to 32oC – 37oC all we do is wet a sheet or towel, and hang it by an open door / window. The draft through the wet item cools down the room noticably. It is the ideal day to wash curtains too 🙂

    Sitting at a computer on a hot day – sling a damp towel round your neck 🙂

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    • >Dani, in the summer we often get 40+C days here. At home, I just use a fan. At night I often have a cold shower and go to bed wet under the fan, mybe several times in the night.

      AV

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  2. I dislike air conditioning and refuse to use it. It closes me off from the sounds of nature I would hear with the windows/doors open. A small fan is all I need to be warm yet mostly comfortable on the hottest days. Well, that and keeping the curtajns closed while the sun is beating down.

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    • >Lois, that’s the reason I don’t have it at home. But standing in the classroom, I do need it, or I get severe headaches and sometimes equilibrium problems. It’s not dignified for the teacher to fall over in front of class.

      AV

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      • Sounds like a good idea to keep it running at work. 😉 Where I live it rarely get above the mid 80sF so I don’t understand the need for AC and especially central air. We might get two weeks of muggy weather the entire summer.

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      • >Lois, last summer we had temps that would make even Texans sweat. 100s – 110F; when you walk into a classroom that has been closed in the heat of the day (most of my classes are 4pm onwards) the first thing that gets switched on is the air C. Central air, is something that I would never consider.

        AV

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