It sounds like the stuff that dreams are made of: fit equipment to provide cool homes and hot water, and then pay nothing in running costs. US scientists have worked out how to install the equivalent of 10 kilowatts of cooling equipment without even switching on the electricity. It’s simple: paint the place white. Not just any old white, but a new ultrawhite pigment that can reflect back into the sky more than 98% of the sunlight that falls on it. And another US team has devised a passive cooling system that could be turned into a roofing material able to lower room temperatures by 12°C by day and 14°C at night, while capturing enough solar power to heat household water to about 60°C. Each innovation is still at the demonstration stage; neither is likely to be commercially available soon. But each is a fresh instance of the resourcefulness and ingenuity at work in the world’s laboratories to address what is soon going to be one of the hottest topics of the planet: potentially lethal extremes of summer heat as global average temperatures rise, in response to ever more profligate use of fossil fuels. The problem could grow to nightmare proportions. Researchers have warned that in the next fifty years, up to 3bn people could face temperatures now experienced only by those who live in the Sahara desert.
Climate News Network 27th April 2021 read more »