2018-03-08. As countries crank up the AC, emissions of potent greenhouse gases are likely to skyrocket.

posted Mar 11, 2018, 1:54 PM by Alan Gould
By April Reese, Science. For GSS Climate Change chapter 3. Excerpt: In the summer of 2016, temperatures in Phalodi, an old caravan town on a dry plain in northwestern India, reached a blistering 51°C—a record high during a heat wave that claimed more than 1600 lives across the country. Wider access to air conditioning (AC) could have prevented many deaths—but only 8% of India's 249 million households have AC.... As the nation's economy booms, that figure could rise to 50% by 2050, he said. And that presents a dilemma: As India expands access to a life-saving technology, it must comply with international mandates—the most recent imposed just last fall—to eliminate coolants that harm stratospheric ozone or warm the atmosphere. "Growing populations and economic development are exponentially increasing the demand for refrigeration and air conditioning," says Helena Molin Valdés, head of the United Nations's (UN's) Climate & Clean Air Coalition Secretariat in Paris. "If we continue down this path," she says, "we will put great pressure on the climate system." But a slow start to ridding appliances of the most damaging compounds, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), suggests that the pressure will continue to build. HFCs are now "the fastest-growing [source of greenhouse gas] emissions in every country on Earth," Molin Valdés says....http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/03/countries-crank-ac-emissions-potent-greenhouse-gases-are-likely-skyrocket