July marked the hottest month ever recorded in human history, with heatwaves shattering temperature records across the globe. While the discomfort of excessive heat is undeniable, the consequences extend far beyond discomfort. Severe heat is the deadliest weather event, surpassing floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined in terms of annual fatalities in the U.S. As climate change intensifies, access to cooled spaces is evolving into a vital health necessity and a fundamental human rights issue.
However, conventional air-conditioning systems have ensnared society in a detrimental feedback loop: as temperatures rise, the demand for air conditioning increases, leading to higher energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. “We’re trapped in a vicious and accelerating cycle,” remarks Nicole Miranda, an engineer specializing in sustainable cooling at the University of Oxford. Cooling has become the fastest-growing contributor to energy consumption in buildings, with projections indicating that global demand for cooling will triple by 2050 if the current trajectory continues. This surge equates to an additional 4,000 terawatt-hours of energy consumption, equivalent to the entire annual energy usage of the United States.Continue reading… “Innovating Cooling Technologies: A Solution to Escalating Climate Costs”