Rethinking Cooling – In a Warming World

September 22, 2018

Above, new approaches to air conditioning – an emerging major energy suck.

Below, Chicago’s district cooling technology – here today.

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3 Responses to “Rethinking Cooling – In a Warming World”

  1. Marge Forslin Says:

    It the problem we have now is a thick blanket of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses trapping reflected infrared light/heat and warming the climate, how is the reflective film idea going to help? Why won’t that reflected infrared light/heat become just as trapped and add to the warming?

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Standard air conditioning (1) produces a lot of waste heat and (2) adds more GHGs into the atmosphere, and is being used more in a modernizing world. The whole point of those cooling technologies is to have a lower AGW effect than current A/C has, so even if the reflector tech involves reflecting some wavelengths of infrared, the reduction in heat and GHGs more than compensates for it.

  2. Greg Wellman Says:

    The increased greenhouse effect will make that reflective film slightly less effective, but we’re talking a small fraction. The thing about AGW is that it’s actually a small effect – but a critical one. The average temperature of the Earth is something like 288 Kelvin (the scale that matters for physics). If we had no atmosphere, it would be something like 30 K cooler, if I recall correctly. So in percentage terms, it doesn’t take much to increase the effectiveness of our atmospheric blanket to raise the equilibrium average temperature from 288 to 290 K, but that’s enough to cause real problems for human agriculture (not to mention melting ice sheets and raising sea level).


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