How to Stop Air Conditioners From Warming the Planet

Kottke Ride Home
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Pacific northwest here in the us blasted through their all time. Heat records this week records that now exceed those of las vegas and houston power cables for the streetcars in portland literally melted on sunday. The cause for all that heat in the region was because of a heat. Dome something that. Cbs news meteorologist. Jeff burr deli called a one thousand year event or at least it was last century. Now it's just another thing that's likely to be repeated more often the heat's already kills at least six hundred people but probably close to fifteen hundred every year in america according to the atlantic and most of them don't have air conditioning the need for some type of cooling system in homes especially in locations where they weren't previously needed is becoming abundantly clear. Scientific american says that by twenty fifty researchers expect the number of air conditioners around the world to quadruple to four and a half billion and be as ubiquitous as cell phones but air conditioners as they presently exist are not the answer yes. The climate crisis is making us need them. More but air conditioners are also making the climate crisis worse. The technology is long overdue for an upgrade quoting scientific american the basic cooling technology behind air conditioning. Refrigerators hasn't changed significantly since nineteen o two. When a young american engineer named willis carrier devised the first air conditioner to solve the humidity problem for printing company in new york city. it's known as the vapor compression cycle explains kark bullard mechanical engineer and professor emeritus at the university of illinois in its most stripped down form it consists of two metal coils one located inside the space to be cooled and one outside a liquid. Refrigerant circulates through the coils alternately. Evaporating and condensing under varying pressure. As the refrigerant vaporizes. It gets cold and chills the metal coil inside the room when it reaches the outdoor coil the refrigerant condenses ejecting heat into the air before beginning the next cycle.

Coming up next