Canadian Heat Wave a Historic Shocker

June 30, 2021


The big picture: The regional sales are small compared to the surge of global cooling equipment needed in the years ahead, in industrialized countries but especially the developing world.

Yes, but: Inefficient air conditioners use a lot of energy. Especially in places where electricity doesn’t come from clean sources, it’ll be a challenge to deal with the heat caused by global warming without adding even more greenhouse gas emissions.

By the numbers: Roughly 2 billion air conditioning units are in operation worldwide, per a 2020 International Energy Agency (IEA) report. The global number of units installed could rise by two-thirds by 2030, per IEA. 

  • 35% of the world’s population lives in countries where the average temperature is 77°F — extremes can vastly exceed this — and only 10% of that group own air conditioners.
  • A 2017 study in Nature Climate Change found that 30% of the world’s population is currently exposed to climatic conditions exceeding a deadly threshold for at least 20 days a year. 
  • By 2100, this percentage is projected to increase to about 48% even under a scenario with drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, or about 74% with growing emissions.

Threat level: The group Sustainable Energy for All estimates there are 1.1 billion people among the rural and urban poor at “high risk” from lack of cooling across 54 “high impact” nations.

10 Responses to “Canadian Heat Wave a Historic Shocker”

  1. John Oneill Says:

    Besides the coal plants still powering most air conditioning units in China and India, the gases they use are still fairly potent GHGs, even if the ozone depleting ones are being phased out. More units will mean more leaks – and more manufacturers tempted to take shortcuts, if not policed properly, or if cheaper clean substitutes aren’t found.

  2. grindupbaker Says:

    Big anti-cyclone in the stratosphere, centred on 54N, 115W

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    And many of us saw this coming years ago. And reading about the increase in A/C units helps us to see where it’s going in the future.

    Anyone for 125 in Canada, 135 in Phoenix, and 150 in Death Valley?

  4. Bryson Brown Says:

    We’re living with it here in southern Alberta– High 30s at 900 meters above sea level, with the hottest days still to come. Meanwhile our provincial government threw away $1.3B (CDN) to support the now-dead Keystone XL project, and millions on a propaganda shop (Gov’t funded but separate from Gov’t and so not subject to access to information rules) trying to show that opposition to pipelines & bitumen production is part of an international conspiracy against Alberta and its precious oil and gas industry… We’re in a hole, but it seems we can’t stop digging.

  5. ubrew12 Says:

    Scott Duncan: “This moment will be talked about for centuries.”
    I can hear them now: “Remember the good old days?”

    • J4Zonian Says:

      This moment will be forgotten in 3 months when the 4th heat wave of the extended summer hits. That one will be forgotten in April when the 2nd heat wave of next summer hits.

      For decades activists kept dreading/hoping for some Pearl Harbor event that would wake conservatives up to reality. Since then we’ve had an entire string of pearls with a paradoxical reaction—unless you know psychology, then it makes perfect sense. The response to the first event of each kind was to say Who cares? They’re not white. Floods in Bangladesh and New Orleans, droughts…
      And anyway it’s just one time.

      Response to subsequent events was So what? It’s happened before. Then it was heat waves and white people, a one-off and then other-offs. Crop failures, massive fires, extinctions, failed states… nothing has changed conservatives mind or actions and political action will likely only advance as Planck said science does, one funeral at a time.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        And since they don’t want to get vaccinated even in the face of the more serious Delta variant or wear masks and avoid crowds, it’s likely to be TEN funerals at a time, and that’s OK by me. The sorry-ass &%#*@ POS deserve what’s coming to them.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Maybe I’m turning into an olive–soft on the outside because I actually agree with you, and hard on the inside because…I actually agree with you. Or maybe it’s an almond–just the reverse. Whatever. (Just checked my trees so they’re on my mind.) But we have to remember that toxic and misguided as they are, they’re victims too, many of whom will die soon for their medieval ignorance and failure to grow beyond their neighbors.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Olives and almonds aside, I di not consider the majority of them to be “victims”. Maybe the lower IQ, lesser educated, lower income types in the rural areas, but certainly not the more privileged ones who SHOULD know better. F*** them.

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