Study Estimates Number of AC Units Needed Will Triple in Next Thirty Years

Study Estimates Number of AC Units Needed Will Triple in Next Thirty Years

Increasing populations, incomes, urbanization, and temperatures could “triple the number of AC units installed worldwide by midcentury, pushing the total toward 6 billion,” as James Temple reported for the MIT Technology Review. This could create one of the “largest sources of rising electricity demand around the world.”

Why This Matters: This is the paradox of climate change. As the world warms, cooling will be even more necessary.

Continue Reading 528 words
Tens of Thousands in LA and TX Devastated — Battling COVID In Record Heat Without Power or Water click button

Tens of Thousands in LA and TX Devastated — Battling COVID In Record Heat Without Power or Water

The COVID pandemic makes much more challenging all the issues surrounding the evacuation, response, and rebuilding of the areas of Louisiana and Texas hit hard by Hurricane Laura.  As National Public Radio explains, many families are now essentially homeless because their houses were ruined by the storm and they lack running water and electricity.

Why This Matters:  67,000 people have already registered for Federal disaster assistance but it will not get better any time soon for those hit hardest by the storm.

Continue Reading 552 words
Heat Wave Broils Southern Half of the Country

Heat Wave Broils Southern Half of the Country

We told you earlier this month that Phoenix had broken its record for the most days of 110 degrees or higher — and they just keep wracking them up.  The city has now had 50 days when the temperature reached 110 degrees or more, shattering the old record of 33.  And now the Gulf states are also experiencing record hot temps this week.

Why This Matters:  Heat waves in the summer in the south and southwest seem like par for the course.  But they are actually getting worse and are more deadly than other severe weather.

Continue Reading 452 words
One Cooling Off Thing: Air Conditioners That Cost Much Less click button

One Cooling Off Thing: Air Conditioners That Cost Much Less

Researchers may have found a way to cool things off indoors and even outside using half the energy of typical air conditioners.  The system is one in which rectangular ceiling or wall panels contain chilled water that circulates inside them. When a person stands next to one of these panels it cools them off because […]

Continue Reading 127 words
Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Brazil’s Biodiversity-Rich Pantanal Wetlands “Ravaged” By Wildfires

Fires are “ravaging” the biodiversity-rich Pantanal region of Brazil, Jake Spring of Reuters reported Tuesday. In the first fifteen days of August alone, the national space research agency of Brazil recorded 3,121 fires, which is almost five times greater than last year. Already, 6% of the Pantanal burned from January to July due to high temperatures, dry conditions, and high winds.

Why This Matters: As the world’s largest wetland, the Pantanal is home to key biodiversity.

Continue Reading 451 words
More Extreme Weather Makes Life Harder for Millions of Americans This Week click button

More Extreme Weather Makes Life Harder for Millions of Americans This Week

The extreme weather events this summer keep piling up. Phoenix set a record for the most number of days over 110 degrees in a year with 35 — so far as of yesterday.  Plus a derecho, which is akin to an inland hurricane, swept 700 miles across the midwest Monday.

Why This Matters:  President Trump is trying to remove $50 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for needed unemployment benefits he unilaterally ordered.  Given the increased number of hurricanes predicted (a new storm is forming in the Atlantic), it seems like a particularly bad time to raid FEMA’s emergency funds.

Continue Reading 497 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.