Monday July 27th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topics: More Efficient Air Conditioning Can Slow Global Warming/Prolonged U.S. Heatwave Update #23
Dear Diary. No, today’s main topic does not imply that huge air conditioners could be built that would pump cold air out into polar regions, thus cooling the climate. We only wish. Instead current technology involving air conditioners, as such, can limit the amount of power needed to efficiently cool people trying to keep comfortable as our climate warms. The less power generated the less greenhouse gasses get emitted unless grids are totally green, which is sadly not the case as if 2020. Here is a brief summary from the Associated Press:
Cool plan: Study says better aircon can slow global warming
July 17, 2020
BERLIN (AP) — Making air conditioners and fridges more energy efficient and using more climate-friendly refrigerants can significantly slow global warming, according to a U.N.-backed report released Friday.
The report published by the U.N. Environment Program and the International Energy Agency claims greater efficiency and the replacement of harmful refrigerants could prevent the equivalent of four to eight years of current global greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades.
Demand for cooling appliances is predicted to almost quadruple by 2050 as the planet heats up and more people need air conditioners. But cheap devices often consume a lot of electricity that’s generated from coal or gas-fired power plants, which in turn fuel global warming.
“Air conditioning is a two-edged sword,” said Durwood Zaelke, a U.S.-based environmental lawyer who contributed to the report. “You need it because the world is warming, but it contributes to warming unless you make it super efficient.”
Another problem with cooling devices is that many still use hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a group of potent but short-lived greenhouse gas. Experts say banishing them is one of the fastest ways to curb global warming — up to 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.
In 2016, countries negotiated a binding treaty to phase out HFCs known as the Kigali Amendment — tacked onto the highly successful Montreal Protocol that helped repair the ozone hole. But major polluters such as the United States, China, India and Russia have yet to ratify it.
Even countries that have ratified the treaty struggle to crack down on illegal refrigerants smuggling. Earlier this month, the European Union’s anti-fraud unit OLAF announced that the Netherlands had seized 14 metric tons of HFCs — with a potential environmental impact equivalent to 38 return flights from Amsterdam to Sydney.
The authors of the new report call for “national cooling action plans” that include minimum energy performance standards and clear labeling of devices to help consumers choose the most efficient and climate-friendly refrigerants.
They also urge governments to promote ways of reducing the need for refrigerants, with energy-efficient buildings, tree-planting to cool cities and district-wide cooling systems.
A further upshot of more efficient air conditioners, according to the 48-page report’s authors: trillions of dollars in electricity cost savings by mid-century.
Speaking of air conditioning, plenty of those devices will be humming in the Northeast, South, and West through Tuesday. I do have some great news, though. Most heat advisories will be gone from the East by Wednesday, so our prolonged eastern heat wave will be over. Was it truly “historic?” Probably not, to be honest. By my own rough definitions at no time did the thing get up to a “CAT 3” status with prolonged NWS heat advisories persisting in any kind given area for more than five consecutive days. We didn’t see reports of that many fatalities from the event during July either, thankfully.
The heat dome responsible for the heat wave kept shifting around the eastern 2/3rds of the nation allowing cooling fronts to penetrate the Midwest and Northeast, breaking the heat wave at times this month. Relatively few records were reported across the Southeast. The heat dome never got above 597 decameters in the East, peaking for the last time around 595 decameters over the Middle Mississippi Valley as Hanna was making landfall in South Texas over this last weekend:
The month of August is about to start, so we probably will see another heat wave develops east of the Rockies before true fall weather arrives, but it will be a separate event. Will it too be prolonged and potentially deadly if it occurs at all? Keep reading this blog to find out.
So, here is my last assessment for this particular heat wave for the next couple of days.
Today our CAT 1 heatwave is basically confined to the East, with a separate heat wave due to a western heat dome building in the West. Both have been at relatively low levels, not lasting for more than a week at any one location, so far:
On Tuesday heat levels will be coming down a botch across the Eastern Seaboard. Dangerous levels of heat will be ramping up in the West where a CAT 1 heatwave will continue:
For a few days, and hopefully more, our main subject will not be concentrating on U.S. heat. If you would like me to cover any one climate related issue please drop me a note.
Here are some overseas “ET’s.”
Here is more climate and weather news from Monday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.)
Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”