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Economy

Poor Countries Will Get Hotter Quicker

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Poorer countries will be affected by climate change sooner than wealthier destinations. That’s according to research conducted by an international team, including the University of East Anglia (UEA). They found that the world’s poorest countries could experience soaring daily temperatures if climate change is not addressed.

New findings published today in Environmental Research Letters show that the poorest fifth of the global population will be the first to experience more frequent heat extremes – despite cumulatively emitting the least amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Countries including those in the Horn of Africa and West Africa are likely to be worst affected.

The study is the first to examine the link between cumulative CO2 emissions and more frequent hot days.

Dr Manoj Joshi, from UEA’s School of Environmental Sciences, said: “Many of the poorest people in the world live in tropical latitudes, while many of the world’s wealthiest people live in mid-latitude climates.

“We know that low latitude regions have much less variability in day-to-day temperatures when compared with the mid-latitudes, which means the ‘signal’ of climate change emerges quite quickly, and because of this, the frequency of extreme hot days increases rapidly too.” 

Lead author Luke Harrington, a PhD student at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute (NZCCRI), said: “Previous studies have shown a link between rising global temperatures and increases in the frequency of local heat extremes, while others have shown a clear relationship between the total amount of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere and rising temperatures.

“This study is the first to use climate models to simulate the end-to-end link between cumulative CO2 emissions and people experiencing more frequent hot days.”

The team used state-of-the-art climate models to estimate cumulative CO2 emissions and subsequent changes to extreme local daily temperatures over the 20th and 21st century.

An extreme hot day was defined as occurring 0.1 per cent of the time in model simulations of the pre-industrial climate.

Dr Chris Jones, from the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: “Our results show much fewer cumulative emissions are required for the poorest fifth of the global population to experience a robust increase in the number of extreme hot days, when compared with the wealthiest population quintile.”

These results help to clarify how the wealthiest and poorest fractions of the global population will experience different emergent increases in extreme heat with continued climate change.

Dr Erich Fischer, from ETH Zurich, said: “We know the wealthiest countries will be able to cope with the impacts more easily than poorer nations.

“What our research shows is that heat extremes do not increase evenly everywhere, but are becoming much more frequent more quickly for countries nearer the equator – these happen to be disproportionately poorer nations, including those in the Horn of Africa and West Africa.

“In fact, this pattern was robust even when we considered future projections of population and income.”

Dr Ed Hawkins, from the University of Reading, said: “Most importantly, this disparity in exposure to more frequent temperature extremes between the global rich and poor only becomes more pronounced as cumulative CO2 emissions continues to rise. This result is yet another piece of evidence demonstrating that limiting cumulative CO2 emissions over the 21st century will help avoid these impacts.”

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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