“U.S. Air Conditioning Use Could Surge Nearly 60 Percent by 2050”

“It’s no secret that it’s getting hotter and hotter outside. On Sunday, Death Valley hit 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius), which is an extreme example of a notable trend. The rising heat is also driving up the demand for air conditioning, and the surge will only become more dramatic as the climate crisis persists. A new analysis from Climate Central shows that the U.S. will see a shocking 59% increase in home air conditioning use over the next 30 years.

The new report, based on an analysis of 242 U.S. cities, shows that climbing temperatures are sharply increasing instances of cooling-degree days, a measure of when temperatures are high enough that many people turn to using their air conditioners.

The metric is based on the temperature difference between an average daily temperature in a given location and 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius), which is considered a standard comfortable temperature by meteorologists. For instance, a day in a location with an average temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius) is equivalent to 25 cooling-degree days. More cooling-degree days generally means higher levels of energy use for keeping buildings and homes comfortable.”

Dharna Noor reports for Earther August 17, 2020.

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“Hotter Climate, More Cooling Demand” (Climate Central)