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It was so hot here in the Pacific Northwest...


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Amazed to hear that some places don't have aircon. Why on earth not? Not only does it keeps buildings warm in winter, it keeps them cool in summer. 

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35 minutes ago, NZDavid said:

Amazed to hear that some places don't have aircon. Why on earth not? Not only does it keeps buildings warm in winter, it keeps them cool in summer. 

Hello David,

When people build homes & other buildings in various parts of the World today, as well as years ago, they build the heating/cooling systems that are appropriate for expected weather conditions. Yesterday Seattle, Washington had a temperature of around 40C/104F & Portland, Oregon had a temperature of around 47C/118F. These are temperatures that are outside of the expected parameters. In the past it has been somewhat cooler at this time of the Summer in both places.

Altho these temperatures might also be indicators of the coolest temperatures that might be expected to occur in both places for the rest of this Summer and for future Summers to come.

Best Regards,

Michael

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3 hours ago, NZDavid said:

Amazed to hear that some places don't have aircon. Why on earth not? Not only does it keeps buildings warm in winter, it keeps them cool in summer. 

We don't get those sorts of high temperatures here that often, so people didn't have A/C built into their homes. Maybe half of dwellings have it now. Before this week, Seattle had only broken 100F three times since the Weather Service started keeping records (1890). I was here for the last one (2009, when it set the all-time record of 103F). Topping 100 for three days in a row is unprecedented. Seattle was tracking Phoenix degree-for-degree most of Monday afternoon.

It was worse in BC - one town up there was up to 116F on Monday. The province as a whole had a number of heat-related deaths.

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I mentioned it because I wonder if building design is adequate? We may well be worse here -- old New Zealand homes are poorly insulated (if at all). I am in the  process of writing a healthy home guide and it is clear that many homes just aren't  good enough. The solutions (better heating and cooling systems, together with good insulation and ventilation) are not too hard.

Make no mistake: The whole world will experience more climate extremes and severe weather events. It is now probably impossible to reduce climate change so adaptation is the only answer!

 

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The heat bubble has moved east, but we're still stuck with extreme fire danger in the region due to a dry April-June. Lytton, BC, which clocked the all-time Canadian record of 121.3F/49.6C (not 116F) on Monday, vanished tonight after a bushfire swept through it in about 15 minutes. They're pretty sure everyone made it out in time. I think 121F used to be the US record, measured in Death Valley.

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12 hours ago, NZDavid said:

I mentioned it because I wonder if building design is adequate? We may well be worse here -- old New Zealand homes are poorly insulated (if at all). I am in the  process of writing a healthy home guide and it is clear that many homes just aren't  good enough. The solutions (better heating and cooling systems, together with good insulation and ventilation) are not too hard.

Make no mistake: The whole world will experience more climate extremes and severe weather events. It is now probably impossible to reduce climate change so adaptation is the only answer!

 

Hello David,

I don't think that there has ever been a significant portion of people involved with Climate Change issues who ever thought that it might be possible for things to go back to the way they were years ago. There is such a large amount of People Produced CO2, Methane & the like, already in the sky, that: Even if all future People Produced emissions were to magically stop today:

The amounts in the sky already: Would, for many years to come: Continue to add significantly to the rate of increase of the warming brought about because of people's activities up to today.

What is being discussed today in terms of lessening people's effects on the climate is: What can be done to slow down the RATE OF INCREASE of this change.  

Best Regards,

Michael

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Agree completely, Michael. Perhaps this topic is best suited for a separate discussion in the bar? 

I find wrapping up to keep warm in extreme cold is easier than keeping cool in extreme heat. Better buildings help -- for example, in southern Spain and North Africa, with super thick masonry walls providing thermal mass and optimal solar orientation so they kept cool (even without aircon) into the high 30sC-plus.

In the meantime, to everyone in the northern half facing severe heat -- take care and I hope it cools down soon!

 

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Posted (edited)

Remember that A/C doesn't just depend on having a unit installed - the electrical generation/transmission infrastructure also has to be designed to cope (cf UK push towards zero install of domestic gas heating boilers and petrol/diesel cars in a very short timescale)

Screenshot of an NYC wide emergency text alert sent to all cellphones in the city yesterday...

Edited by NigelG
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One of the biggest private utilities in eastern Washington had to resort to rolling blackouts the during the past week's heat wave. The Pacific Northwest usually has a surplus of (mostly) hydroelectric energy in the summer, and it's usually sold to California and the Southwest to deal with their A/C loads. That didn't leave a lot of generating capacity to deal with the unprecedented A/C load here.

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A good point and we depend on hydroelectric power, too -- so when the lakes are low we're at risk.

Better to design buildings that are well insulated and oriented to provide maximum shade in summer and to keep the heat in side during winter. That way, they need minimum additional heating and cooling systems. Solar power and rainwater harvesting should also be mandatory.

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Posted (edited)

Hello David,

My grandparents home was built with many of the ideas you have brought up in this & earlier Posts. It was built in the early part of the 19th Century before the explosion of production & utilization that became a hallmark of the Industrialization that later developed in this part of the World . At that time people did a lot of what you have been writing about in this Thread because of necessity. My grandparents home is a large, wooden cabinet, as many homes in this part of the World have been & are still built as today. It originally had a Cedar Roof (No insects.) with a pink tile roof on top. The home faces directly South. It was the first building in this part of town. As the town expanded around it, it ended up being at an angle to most of what came later. The windows are arranged to allow for cross ventilation. The 4 fireplaces were arranged across from each other, East facing & West facing, back to back, so that they were about 1/3 of the way in from the furthest walls. With about the middle 1/3 of the home between them. The cook stove is on the North wall & also heats the room above it. Cross ventilation in the attic also. Except for the North wall which has no windows. And more.

Best Regards,

Michael

Edited by Michael Geschlecht
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