There is a surge in the global installation of air conditioners.
In the 1990s, China had very few air conditioners but now there is almost one air conditioner per household. India and Indonesia are tracking China’s installation levels and rates. By the 2030s, India and Indonesia will be at China’s air conditioning level.
Saudi Arabia is rapidly installing air conditioners. If increases in installation and usage continue than Saudi Arabia will use more energy to run air conditions in 2030 than is now exported as oil.
90% of households in America and Japan have air conditioning. 8% of the 3 billion people in the tropics have air conditioners.
GDP falls by 1% for each degree above 26 degrees celsius in the Caribbean and Central America.
Without additional air-conditioning there would be an extra 250,000 extra deaths per year from heat waves by 2050.
If HFCs were phased out and all air conditioners were the most efficient available then 500 gigawatts of power would be saved by 2030.
In China, this would save as much eight Three Gorges dams in power.
Even with the efficiency, the cost of all of the air-conditioning units and the energy will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Geoengineering and localized climate geo-mitigation would be more cost efficient to blunt the climate effects.
The Urban heat islands effect occur when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat. This effect increases energy costs (e.g., for air conditioning), air pollution levels, and heat-related illness and mortality.
To reduce the urban heat island effect:
* Build green infrastructure improvements into regular street upgrades and capital improvement projects to ensure continued investment in heat-reducing practices throughout your community.
* Plant trees and other vegetation—Space in urban areas might be limited, but you can easily integrate small green infrastructure practices into grassy or barren areas, vacant lots, and street rights-of-way.
* Build green roofs—Green roofs are an ideal heat island reduction strategy, providing both direct and ambient cooling effects. In addition, green roofs improve air quality by reducing the heat island effect and absorbing pollutants
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.