back to article How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

The Persian Gulf is already one of the hottest parts of the world, but by the end of the century increasing heat combined with intense humidity will make the region too hot for habitation, according to research published in Nature Climate Change. Heating and air conditioning currently permit humans to live everywhere from …

  1. tempemeaty

    I would build down not up.

    Underground is a great way to escape the heat.

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: I would build down not up.

      It's also unbelievably expensive. You have to dig all of that stuff out of the ground, build strong walls (far stronger than building up) to stop the sides caving in. You have to find clever ways to get sunlight down in to the depths. Cost, cost, cost.

      Humans don't like living like that. They don't WANT to live like that. This is often the problem with such grand ideas. They rarely take in to account the humans at the centre of the architecture. It's why Brutalist buildings have been loved by academics and architects and universally despised by the people who actually have to live in or use them. Run the trains and buses and cars underground, fine. But don't expect humans to turn troglodyte.

      1. SoaG
        Joke

        Re: don't expect humans to turn troglodyte.

        Clearly you don't know very many humans.

        1. Roger Greenwood

          Re: don't expect humans to turn troglodyte.

          If they are introduced to this concept at the appropriate stage of their development they would probably adapt very well. Around 13 to 16 years old in my experience.

    2. JC_

      Re: I would build down not up.

      Not on the Central Line in August.

    3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: I would build down not up.

      Close but no cigar.

      It is extremely expensive and not particularly functional.

      Stealing a few pages from the Middle-East Medieval Builder CookBook (especially as Russians used to define it - all the way to Kirgizstan/Tukrmenistan) is a better idea.

      One neat trick is having two walls and a walkspace on the south side of all buildings (ala US condo). The inner wall is the normal apartment/house wall. The outer wall is not solid - it is a stone mesh. So you get 2m of shaded space between your house and the sun which is naturally ventilated by wind and convection. This alone gives you 10 degree drop (at least) in mid summer. There are other things like - the shiny glazing tiles on the outer walls are not just for decoration. They are functional too - reflect the sun. And so on.

      Instead of that, the region is being overbuild with glass monsters which are clearly not fit for that climate. But they look kewl... Which is what is important in a regional culture ruled by "shopping show-off"

      1. YARR

        Re: I would build down not up.

        If building down is so expensive, can the same benefit be obtained by artificially raising the surface? i.e. build sideways so that all buildings are joined together to become one large building. Then construct several insulating layers above all this - like multiple thin attic spaces. More insulating layers would allow a greater temperature gradient between the inhabited area and the exposed surface.

        Of course all that solar energy going to waste could be converted to electricity by covering the deserts in solar panels. Then they wouldn't need fossil fuels to run the air conditioning.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I would build down not up.

          There is a limit to how deep you can go before it becomes too hot that way too.

          From Wikipedia

          The TauTona Mine or Western Deep No.3 Shaft,[1] is a gold mine in South Africa. At 3.9 kilometers (2.4 mi) deep it is currently home to the world's deepest mining operations rivaled only by Mponeng gold mine with which it competes for #1 ranking.[2]

          ...

          Air conditioning equipment is used to cool the mine from 55 °C (131 °F) down to a more tolerable 28 °C (82 °F). The rock face temperature currently reaches 60 °C (140 °F).

      2. Adair Silver badge

        Re: I would build down not up.

        @Voland's right hand - good thinking, see also 'wind catchers' - http://tinyurl.com/pg8mp7z (link to relevant Wikipedia page).

    4. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: I would build down not up.

      Second thought.

      For the same cost as building under the ground you can build under the Gulf/Indian Ocean/Red Sea/etc. That does not get hotter than 30C even in a 50C heatwave

      1. x 7

        Re: I would build down not up.

        "you can build under the Gulf/Indian Ocean/Red Sea/etc."

        move the population of Dubai undersea and you need homes for one million people.

        Do the same with Egypt and you need caves for 80 million, along with their donkeys, factories, workspaces......and then you need space for food production.

        Add in all the other countries, and just how big a network of caves do you need? And that presupposes you can get them to live harmoniously in close proximity.

    5. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Re: I would build down not up.

      > Underground is a great way to escape the heat.

      As the Aussies have found in Coober Pedy

      (And it was also done a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away on Tattoine ;-) )

    6. kmac499

      Re: I would build down not up.

      I beleive the Aussie Opal miners of Coober Pedy have the 'copyright' on this idea. They may well have favourable geology on their side to dig out their Hobbit Holes but it works for them..

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would build down not up.

      Another great way to escape the heat is to immigrate to Sweden. Heard the guvment there also gives you free stuff as a bonus.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: I would build down not up.

        My brother worked in Sweden for DoD and latterly the Nobel Foundation for several years. He said he believed it was against the law to enjoy yourself there so he and his Norwegian fiance used to go to Denmark or the UK to have fun.

  2. beast666

    Green Loons

    "However the extreme heatwaves predicted for the Gulf, where temperatures will regularly hit 50℃ or even 60℃"

    The global circulation models from the warmists "project" this does it? The same models that have failed to predict the total and utter lack of warming for over 18 years whilst CO2 levels have steadily climbed?

    This article (and CAGW) is embarrassing to behold.

    1. Burb

      Re: Green Loons

      When you say 'utter lack of warming' how does that square with 2014 being the hottest year on record by most measures, 2015 being set to be hotter still and, if the usual pattern of El Nino years is followed, 2016 being likely to be even hotter?

      The fact is that the upward trend has not changed for the last few decades. There are variations around the trend but there is no statistical test you can do to show that the trend has changed. (Note that cherry picking a particular peak El Nino year is not a valid statistical test - you would be 'embarrassing' yourself if you were to claim otherwise.)

      As for models, they are only supposed to give a rough idea of long term trends. They are not meant to model year to year variations or multi-year cycles such as ENSO as these have a random unpredictable nature. Models do demonstrate such random features but the exact patterns of the cycles will vary from run to run and usually model output is expressed in terms of averages over a number of runs. Of course, there is a single 'run' of Earth's real climatic system and one would not expect to be able to compare this directly against average results. Another point that is often forgotten is that assumptions have to be made about time-dependent boundary conditions for a given projection, which is another reason why it would be naive to expect exact correspondence between a projection and reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Green Loons

        @Burb, you only get the hottest year if a) you don't read the information that it is only 37% likely and b) if you 'adjust' the figures you use to make that prediction.

        After all why use the more accurate data from the ARGO floats which doesn't fit the warming dogma when you can fudge it with the much less accurate temperatures obtained from such things as engine cooling pipes and buckets and thermometers.

        1. Burb

          Re: Green Loons

          @Ivan 4: "you only get the hottest year if a) you don't read the information that it is only 37% likely"

          Actually it was 38% for NASA and 48% for NOAA. Which makes it more likely than any other year that it was the hottest. And it wasn't even an El Nino like 1998.

          "b) if you 'adjust' the figures you use to make that prediction"

          I'm not interested in conspiracy theories about adjustments to data. Here's why:

          1. The methods are openly discussed and/or are available in the scientific literature.

          2. There are very few areas of science where raw data do not need some sort of processing to get meaningful results out of them.

          3. Many temperature adjustments are in a downward direction.

          4. The BEST study was funded to try to prove that the adjustments made thus far were erroneous. It ended up pretty much agreeing with earlier results.

          I'm not saying it applies to you, but many people who spout off this conspiracy nonsense about adjusting surface temperature data tell us in the next breath that we should be trusting satellite data.

          Forgive me if I'm unpersuaded. Write some papers if you are such an expert.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Green Loons

            "1. The methods are openly discussed and/or are available in the scientific literature."

            Having studied climate at the tertiary level I possess TR Oke's Boundary Layer Climates; it's the standard text. Nowhere does that text discuss anthropogenic global warming. Had I answered some of my exam questions based on the assertions of the CAGW promoters, it's very doubtful I would have passed. I received a credit.

            There was a CAGWer in the class. He was also a Creationist and Young Earther. He failed.

            1. Burb

              Re: Green Loons

              Bit of a non sequitur there Mr Pompous Git as we were talking about data analysis techniques, not physical models. In any case, T R Oke's speciality is in 'local climate' such as the climate of a city and urban heat island effects. The book you mention, last updated in 1987, seems mainly to be concerned with such issues and with climate near to the ground. I find it odd that you did not come across AGW in your 'tertiary studies', given that I first came across it in O Level Geography in the early 80's; it was certainly mainstream science by the end of the 70's.

              Incidentally if we are doing anecdotes, the only person I can think of having any sort of argument in real life about mainstream climate science was also a creationist so I guess we are quits there.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Green Loons

        "2014 being the hottest year on record by most measures, 2015 being set to be hotter still and, if the usual pattern of El Nino years is followed, 2016 being likely to be even hotter?"

        Er not by most measures. By an extraordinarily few measures, which have been extensively 'normalised'...

      3. Fluffy Bunny
        Childcatcher

        Re: Green Loons

        For a start, 2014 wasn't the hottest year on record. Try 1998, during the El Nino.

        And secondly, I can make up any year to be the hottest on record, provided you allow me to rewrite the record books to cool the past. Check out the fraudulent rewriting of the temperature records in Paraguay, Greenland and even parts of Australia.

        1. Burb

          Re: Green Loons

          "For a start, 2014 wasn't the hottest year on record. Try 1998, during the El Nino."

          Let's for the sake of argument assume that you are right and 2014 wasn't hotter than 1998. As others have pointed out there is uncertainty in all of these measurements, in which case I don't know how you can be so confident about 1998. But leaving that to one side, let's suppose 1998 was a bit hotter. 1998 was, as you say, a massive El Nino. 2014 wasn't even an El Nino and yet even you could not deny that it was pretty close to 1998. Does that not tell us anything?

          This 1998 cherry picking 'argument' has run its course and is likely to be blown out of the water by 2015 temperatures (and possibly 2016 going by previous El Nino years). Will you reset the clock at 2015 then or will you finally see the fallacy of the argument?

    2. Thought About IT

      Re: Green Loons

      You don't want to believe everything Lewis writes!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Green Loons

        "You don't want to believe everything Lewis writes!"

        Indeed, you should not believe everything you read. "Global" warming = cooling for one third of the planet according to the BEST reanalysis. Further, nearly all of the actual warming is in wintertime and at night.

        Tasmania was predicted by BoM to have a warmer than average winter just past. It was the coldest for 50 years. This morning we had a light frost at my place. Usually we have our last frost in late August. There are already a lot of dead tomato plants in the district from the last frost.

    3. Fluffy Bunny
      Holmes

      Re: Green Loons

      That's 18 years and 9 months.

      1. Burb

        Re: Green Loons

        @fluffybunny "That's 18 years and 9 months."

        Ha ha! I mentioned cherry picking a particular year in my first post. You are picking a month! Monckton would be proud of you.

    4. dan1980

      Re: Green Loons

      @beast666

      When it comes down to it, building cities that are more energy efficient and require less cooling is a good thing.

      Building a new city from scratch is expensive and carries all sorts of problems but so does trying to 'convert' an existing city - especially one like London - but it can be done, gradually.

      New buildings and refurbishments use their energy efficiency as a major sales pitch, as do many cars and appliances of all types and houses that need less cooling and heating are more attractive for buyers.

      Even if you put aside climate change of any sort and make a for-arguments-sake assumption that the climate will stay exactly as it is today for the rest of time, there are still massive improvements that can be made that will benefit us all as world population increases and fossil fuel reserves are depleted.

      And that's not surprising because the less energy you have to expend in achieving a result, the better.

      In this specific instance, the Gulf is already bloody hot and reducing reliance on air-conditioning is a worthwhile goal even if average temperatures do not go up at all.

  3. x 7

    wrong problem

    it doesn't matter what you do to the buildings......if the environment is too hot to grow food you can't live there anyway, irrespective of what technological tricks you use to cool down the living accommodation.

    You are soon looking forward to a series of wars of migration as African and Asian populations migrate northward to escape heat and water shortage. The current flow of refugees across the Mediterranean is the vanguard army: over the next 20-30 years most of the population of the Sahel, Arabia/Middle East and northern Indian peninsula will looking to move north into Europe or Russia - by force if necessary. Living conditions in their homelands will become impossible - irrespective of any wars there.

    1. JC_

      Re: wrong problem

      You are soon looking forward to a series of wars

      It's quite ironic that the US military - not known for liberal tendencies - is forecasting and preparing for these situations as an outcome of AGW, while all of the supposedly pro-military Republican candidates for president flatly deny the existence of AGW.

      It's going to be hellish in the worst-affected countries. Yemen is already a disaster heading for a catastrophe.

    2. Flatpackhamster

      Re: wrong problem

      You can import food, even if it's 'too hot' to grow food. Not that it's ever 'too hot', because plants cope with it. What they don't cope with is aridity. But it's easy to import food, particularly for a rich country like the UAE surrounded by poorer countries who can produce cash crops that can be exported.

      1. JC_

        Re: wrong problem

        You can import food, even if it's 'too hot' to grow food

        Only if you have something to pay for it with, which will be rather a problem when the petroleum runs out or becomes uneconomic, first.

        The population of the UAE is 10 million, but only 1.4 million of them are citizens. Egypt, on the other hand, already has 82 million citizens and is a hell of a lot poorer.

        The effects of climate change on these poor countries that are also utterly corrupt will be catastrophic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: wrong problem

          The effects of climate change on these poor countries that are also utterly corrupt will be catastrophic.

          That assumes the CAGW dogma is correct - what if it isn't and we get cooling?

      2. x 7

        Re: wrong problem

        "You can import food,"

        Where from? Where is the excess food production available? With China now a net importer of food, gradually acquiring the worlds grain, soy and oil futures, food availability is becoming a serious issue. There isn't enough to go round now. In the future it will become worse

        "Not that it's ever 'too hot', because plants cope with it." Like in the Sahara for instance, plenty of plants there

        1. Flatpackhamster

          Re: wrong problem

          The EU is setting aside huge tracts of land for wildlife that could be taken in to production. Russian agriculture is 40 years behind us technologically and far more yield per hectare is available there. If the temperature is warming then Canadian production as well as Russian production will increase with the longer growing season.

          That's not even starting to look at the possibility of production in the third world nations who, with the right technology and infrastructure, will produce huge surpluses. Look at Kenya for an example. They make large amounts of hard currency exporting high quality cash crops to Europe.

          The Sahara's problem is aridity. The Brazilian rainforest rarely drops below 26C, but it's wet, so there is a profusion of life.

          1. itzman

            Re: wrong problem

            The Sahara's problem is aridity.

            Is that why the article mentions high humidity as a major issue then?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: wrong problem

              Humidity is great for plants but not for animals. Many warm-blooded animals cool off by evaporating water off body parts (human skin, canine tongues, etc). But water can't evaporate if the air's already saturated. That's why it's worse to be hot and humid than hot and dry; at least when it's dry we can still sweat. That's why the study looks at "wet bulb" temperatures that account for humidity. Also recall: our natural body temperature is 37 degrees Celcius. If we get hot, we need a way to get the heat out. But if it's both too warm (meaning the heat transfer trends towards us rather than away) and too humid (meaning our sweat can't draw the heat out of our bodies), then we're literally baking with no way to stop it.

        2. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: wrong problem

          @ x 7

          "With China now a net importer of food, gradually acquiring the worlds grain, soy and oil futures, food availability is becoming a serious issue. There isn't enough to go round now. In the future it will become worse"

          From Time magazine:

          "A new report suggests that some 1.3 billion metric tons of food in the world is lost (on the production side of the food supply chain) or wasted (on the consumption side) each year. That’s about one-third of total edibles produced for humans.

          It’s not the only jarring statistic in the study conducted by the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, on behalf of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Consumers in industrialized nations waste nearly 222 million tons of food each year — virtually the equivalent of sub-Saharan Africa’s total net food production (230 million tonnes). And in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as South and Southeast Asia, individual consumers waste between 6-11 kg (13-24 lbs.) annually, while consumers in Europe and North America discard more than eight times as much: between 95-115 kg (209-254 lbs.)."

        3. Captain DaFt

          Re: wrong problem

          -"Not that it's ever 'too hot', because plants cope with it." Like in the Sahara for instance, plenty of plants there-

          You do know that North Africa was the wheat growing center of the World during the early Roman Empire, right?

          It was increasing aridity that put an end to that. With shifting climate patterns, it may yet again emerge as a major agricultural center.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cura_Annonae

          http://www.academia.edu/436589/Roman_Agriculture

          http://www.travelhoppers.com/2012/01/20/the-bread-basket-of-the-roman-empire/

          1. Flatpackhamster

            Re: wrong problem

            @Captain DaFt.

            Yes I did know that. One of the reasons for the rise in aridity was forest felling.

            The same goes for Spain. Iberia was a very wealthy province and supplied vast quantities of grain to the late Empire. In the middle ages the forests were cut down to create grasslands for Merino sheep to graze. The rains washed the soils away and the grain production was lost.

            In both cases the link is the removal of trees. North Africa is arid now but it doesn't have to be. Start with planting tough grasses, build up the topsoil. Dredge it from the sea if need be. Plant bushes, plant trees. And the aridity falls and you can grow more crops.

            Expensive but certainly cheaper than the Paris Conference's plan for rich nations to give all of their money to poor nations as some sort of post-colonial guilt trip.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    May not be an issue

    Without synthetic fertilisers, primary ingredient crude oil, the long term sustainable global population is under 2B.

    1. JC_

      Re: May not be an issue

      You're certainly right that with industrial monocultures, we're basically eating oil, but there are alternative methods of production that while more labour-intensive are still productive and certainly more sustainable.

      Michael Pollan (he of "eat food, mostly plants, not too much" fame) has written a lot on this with Polyface Farm the best known example.

      For all its horror, the casualties of WWII were 'only' 3% of the global population; going from the forecast 9 billion down to 2 would be beyond horrific and hopefully not likely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: May not be an issue

        WWI 18 million total dead. Worldwide.

        1918 flu epidemic. 50-100 million. Worldwide.

        However these pale into insignificance against the Black Death which it is estimated took out between 25% and 50% of the entire population of Europe.

        Green energy policies could take out 90%, making the Greens the greatest killers mankind has ever known.

        I'd rather take my chances with climate change. It might or might not kill me. Lack of electricity or any other energy I can afford definitely would.

        1. JC_

          Re: May not be an issue

          I'd rather take my chances with climate change. It might or might not kill me. Lack of electricity or any other energy I can afford definitely would.

          It's always astonishing that people can decide when it suits them that capitalism will selectively fail. Right now you can buy solar panels at a cost that makes them supply energy at a price more or less equivalent to fossil-fuel power stations.

          Yet somehow if fossil-fuels are priced to include their externalities, alternative power sources will neither be developed nor grown, despite the fact that they already exist and are being used right now.

          'Greens' have encouraged fuel economy in cars - do you see the complete absence of cars or simply more efficient ones?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: May not be an issue

            "Right now you can buy solar panels at a cost that makes them supply energy at a price more or less equivalent to fossil-fuel power stations."

            Do you mean TCO, including such matters as manufacturing costs (PV panels rely on rare earths), maintenance costs, and average working life, not to mention resilience in the event of inclement weather? A PV panel can be useful in a place where it's sunny most of the time, but many places can see little sun, not just because of the weather but simply as a result of its location and the changing dawn/dusk cycles.

            We need something more consistent and yet local in nature (due to geopolitical obstacles).

            1. JC_

              Re: May not be an issue

              Do you mean TCO

              Yes, because manufacturing is included in the price and installation and removal is not expensive and for small installations may even be 'free' if part of the roof for a new build.

              Location is of course important. Here's a headline from Texas: A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity. It's for wind-generated power.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: May not be an issue

                "Location is of course important. Here's a headline from Texas: A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity. It's for wind-generated power."

                Texas is in Tornado Alley and contains part of the Gulf Coast meaning it's prone to hurricanes, too (ask Galveston). A simple shingle roof isn't that great of an investment compared to a PV panel or windmill, but you have to consider the location: not just in regards to tapping resources but also disaster risks. Plenty of windmills have been literally blown down and PV panels ripped apart by disaster-class winds. Thinking green may not be such a good idea if you run a very real risk of getting your investment destroyed before full amortization.

          2. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: May not be an issue

            I looked at purchasing solar panels when the Australian Labor government was about to phase out the substantial subsidy being paid. In order to achieve the cost savings claimed, they would have to output 140% of their maximum output! A realistic estimate of time to amortise the investment was 18 years. So I paid down the mortgage on a property I owned instead and saved far more than I would investing in solar PV.

        2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

          Re: May not be an issue

          Green energy policies could take out 90%, making the Greens the greatest killers mankind has ever known.

          Does this have more votes up than down because it's just too perverse not to be satire? It's getting difficult to tell whenever the topic comes up here.

        3. Rik Myslewski
          Thumb Down

          Re: May not be an issue

          "Green energy policies could take out 90% [of the world's population], making the Greens the greatest killers mankind has ever known."

          Okay, I know that I'm responding waaaaay too late to your comment and so you'll likely never see my response, but I gotta drop in and say ....

          WTF?!?! My god, man what the #}%#€¥! are you smoking? I've been following the climate-denialist camp for some years now, and your statement is by far the most over-reachingly ludicrous plate of bull-puckey that I've ever had the misfortune to have a clown such as yourself shove in my face.

          Either you're a cynically clever satirist or a raving and savagely ill-informed lunatic. I'm hoping for the former and fearing the latter.

    2. Eric Olson

      Re: May not be an issue

      People have been predicting the coming population bust for generations. And each time a supposed inflection point is hit, the world keeps humming along.

      The reality is that the world produces more than enough food for all the inhabitants. We're talking about about 1.5 times more than necessary, not taking into various religious, ethical, or medical restrictions that are in place. The amount of food wasted (or recycled into compost or animal feed) is astounding. Our issue is distribution and storage. The US is a net exporter of food, yet even it struggles to make sure that even kids get total food security (politics aside). The logistics are a nightmare.

      Even when you consider the use of synthetic or mined nutrients and fertilizers to meet those needs, there are already many field studies that compare alternative growing methods and are finding that you can greatly reduce those needs without impacting the yields, just through intelligent application and modifications to existing practices. Some are ancient, such as the no-till, green manure approaches, and others are just using technology to monitor nutrient needs in real-time and applying a calibrated amount to limited areas. This has additional benefits in that it reduces growing costs over time and there is less runoff and other problems associated with over-application of fertilizer.

      So no, your number is not only outlandishly low, but it's making assumptions that farmers are slack-jawed, inbred idiots who just drop tons of cow shit on the field each year and wonder why it works. Farming is extremely sophisticated, and given that it is a huge revenue source for some of the richest countries of the world, it will continue to have resources applied to make it more efficient, leaner, and able to support an ever growing world. The key will be figuring out how to get the food transported across the world to feed the places that can't grow enough.

      1. x 7

        Re: May not be an issue

        and when the land required for farming is overtaken by the invading displaced millions-strong migrant hordes, what do the farmers do then?

        and where does the water come from to feed your technologically enhanced farms? Consider California, one of the most important of the USAs food producing areas. Two years away from the aquifers going dry. Then what?

        1. scrubber

          Re: May not be an issue

          Desalination plants.

          Sorted.

          1. Commswonk Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: May not be an issue

            Desalination plants.

            Sorted.

            Not really. Desalination is very demanding of energy; where is that going to come from? Furthermore water used for argiculture / horticulture is subject to straightforward evaporation losses, the more so in hot climates.

            Desalinating water for it to evaporate to the atmosphere minutes or hours later doesn't seem to be a very intelligent solution.

            1. Seajay#

              Re: May not be an issue

              "Desalination is very demanding of energy; where is that going to come from?"

              Solar. We're talking about very sunny regions.

              "Furthermore water used for argiculture / horticulture is subject to straightforward evaporation losses, the more so in hot climates."

              Irrigation. This doesn't require a particularly high-tech solution, just that we pipe the water underground to the roots rather than spray it the haphazard way which we currently do (in areas that have lots of cheap water).

              "Desalinating water for it to evaporate to the atmosphere minutes or hours later doesn't seem to be a very intelligent solution."

              If it has passed through a plant in the process, that seems like a perfect solution. Bonus, the evapouration will cool the area.

        2. PhilipN Silver badge

          Re: May not be an issue

          "and when the land required for farming is overtaken by the invading displaced millions-strong migrant hordes, what do the farmers do then?"

          Same as ever. Employ them.

          "and where does the water come from to feed your technologically enhanced farms? Consider California, one of the most important of the USAs food producing areas. Two years away from the aquifers going dry. Then what?"

          Same as ever. Steal it.

  5. Cameron Colley

    The answer is slaves, of course.

    In Dubai, at least, they'll just build giant freezers then make slaves carry blocks of ice with them everywhere for cooling.

  6. John Sager

    Underground

    You do what you need to do. Coober Pedy (AU) already has a lot of underground accommodation for that reason. I don't think the CAGWpocalypse is going to be anything like as bad as predicted, but even a degree or so rise in average temps is going to mean several degrees in peak temps in some places.

    South facing windows? I don't think so in the Northern hemisphere!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Underground

      Actually, south-facing windows make sense in the Northern Hemisphere because in the winter you want as much sun as possible to stay warm, and the sun tends to be heavily to the south in the winter, creating a shallow angle. In the summer, the sun is more to the north so comes down at a sharper angle which you addresses with features like porches and overhangs.

      In the Southern Hemisphere, the directions are reversed, so you're better off facing windows north.

      1. x 7

        Re: Underground

        @ Charles9

        but the point is that they are too hot already.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Underground

          That's why you use porches and overhangs so that a high-angled sun such as you see in torrid climates tends to miss the windows. That helps to make the air inside cooler than the outside barring other sources of heat such as people. The trick here is you normally also have to have some degree of open air circulation to help take out internal heat that builds otherwise. Which you can't really do if the outside is just too dang hot (the point of the article). But that is another matter.

          Just throwing stuff at the wall here. Is there a limit to how concentrated a heat exchange you can make? If it was possible to make the exhaust part of an air conditioner even hotter, that could allow better heat transfer outside, even in the hot conditions described in the article. What stands in the way? Metallurgical limits? Properties of the refrigerants?

          1. Seajay#

            Re: Underground

            "If it was possible to make the exhaust part of an air conditioner even hotter, that could allow better heat transfer outside, even in the hot conditions described in the article. What stands in the way? Metallurgical limits? Properties of the refrigerants?"

            Thermodynamics. The efficiency of an ideal air conditioner is Tin / (Tout-Tin) So the bigger the difference between the internal and external exhaust temperatures the lower the efficiency. Real air conditioners must be less efficient and also generate some heat of their own from the motor etc which subtracts further from the efficiency. If the temperature difference gets too high they end up with zero efficiency, basically just expensively pumping out the heat that they are making.

  7. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Why should we care? Really. By the end of the century oil will be long forgotten as an energy source and since there is nothing else there, the people will just disperse to cooler climates.

    You might get a few tribes wanting to be 'king of the sand dunes' but the rest of the world will just mark it on the maps as 'Too hot, enter at your peril'.

    1. x 7

      "the people will just disperse to cooler climates."

      to which cooler climes? Show me to where you can move the whole population of the Sahel, Middle East, Arabia and much of India. There is no spare land to move them into. No space in Europe, and no infrastructure - besides which the riots in resistance to any such move would become total war against the migrants

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Show me to where you can move the whole population of the Sahel, Middle East, Arabia and much of India.

        Six feet under?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No space in Europe?

        You are joking. That isn't stopping people moving there, although its not because of climate change, its because of natural ethnic cleansing carried out by young men without alternative prospects.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No space in Europe?

          Didn't someone calculate the entire human population could fit comfortably in a land mass the size of Texas, leaving everything else to address their sustenance? Could someone show a rebuttal to this?

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: No space in Europe?

            If we lived at the density that people live in Manila, the entire global population could fit in Tunisia.

            If we lived at the density that people live in Manhattan, the entire global population could fit in New Zealand.

            If we lived at the density that people live in Bangladesh, the entire global population could fit in Australia.

            If we lived at the density that people live in New Jersey, the entire global population could fit in Russia.

            If we lived at the density that people live in Alaska, the entire global population would fit in 108 Earths.

            I have no idea about Texas except they play some fine blues guitar there :-)

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "to which cooler climes?"

        Vast swathes of north America and Russia will also warm by a few degrees making them both eminently habitable and much better food producing regions. Why would millions of people want to move to already crowded places when there are huge areas just waiting to be developed? Maybe Greenland will be green again?

        No matter how crowded you think the world is, it's still mainly empty and uninhabited. People who live in cites forget this.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Underground is nice but...

    Some areas are especially expensive to dig due to the stone, clay, etc. I've lived in places where there literally are no basements unless you're looking at a million+ dollar custom home.

    Just need a way to mass produce graphene so we can use heat transfer from homes to run turbines for power.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Underground is nice but...

      " I've lived in places where there literally are no basements unless you're looking at a million+ dollar custom home."

      Just so we're on the same page, was this because the soil was too hard for basements to be affordable?

      I know another common reason against basements is a high water table, especially if flood-prone, in which case houses are recommended to be elevated, not sunk.

  9. Jason Bloomberg

    And when best laid plans fail?

    It will all be fine, until the day disaster strikes, and people find themselves living in an environment they simply cannot actually survive in.

    Anything which relies on technology and its continuing to function is ultimately doomed to failure. The predictions are bad enough should electricity go off in the west for just a couple of days.

    I cannot see any feasible long term outcome other than mass migration and consequential wars.

    1. x 7

      Re: And when best laid plans fail?

      "I cannot see any feasible long term outcome other than mass migration and consequential wars."

      somehow the word "feasible" is disturbingly out of place in that sentence, but you are realistically correct.

      The only question is whether the "war" is with organised expansionist states/groups (e.g.ISIS/ISIL, or maybe a desperate Egypt or Libya or Iraq) or countless numbers of unorganised refugees acting as a mob. Either way the bloodshed will be horrendous

      The west will not be able to count on military supremacy simply because of the numbers involved. If Egypt becomes unsustainable as an environment, how do you stop 80 million people from invading? The required deaths would make the "final solution" look like a small-scale trial run

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And when best laid plans fail?

      You couldn't survive a year in the UK without 'technology' like clothes and houses. So we're already well past that point.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: And when best laid plans fail?

        You couldn't survive a year in the UK without 'technology' like clothes and houses. So we're already well past that point.

        Technology that's been used over several millennia. The number of people now versus then, or rather, the population density is what's requiring more energy-consuming technology such as transport.

      2. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: And when best laid plans fail?

        You couldn't survive a year in the UK without 'technology' like clothes and houses. So we're already well past that point.

        Likewise in Finland, but that 'technology' is something even my great-grandparents could make given basic ingredients like wool, hides, wood, and a bit of iron. All things that could be sourced locally. But this also relied on natural resources (land, fisheries, forests, primitive mining) and not too many people. Can't go back to that now, and if the technological base now totters, we get apocalypse...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And when best laid plans fail?

          Traditional architecture in Spain is designed for exactly this problem...thick walls and roof, small windows and paint the whole lot white. Also siesta time...sleep through the hot bit and extend your living time into the night, when it's cooler.

          Technology can be as simple as the right sort of walls in the right sort of arrangement.

    3. harmjschoonhoven
      Thumb Up

      Re: And when best laid plans fail?

      This was eloquently described in the short story The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster (1911).

      Describing the demise of a fictional underground society dependent on an omnipotent global "Machine". A good read at any temperature.

  10. imanidiot Silver badge
    Mushroom

    There is only one solution

    environments that cannot sustain human habitation through natural means will at some point just be abandoned. Since the global population cannot live and be sustained on just the higher/lower latitudes mass wars, riots, famines and death will be almost unavoidable. No matter what earths current population is unsustainable. And it's still growing.

    I'm sure I'll get downvoted but in the end I'm afraid massive deaths (millions even billions) are going to be "normal" occurence.

    Places like the UAE and Dubai simply cannot exist without the MASSIVE amount of oil being pumped out of the ground to feed and finance their existance. If we are talking about reducing carbon emissions we should be fighting the massive expansion of cities in the middle of arid regions that require constant cooling and massive amounts of power to keep them livable.

    ==> Because I fear it may be coming to that ==>

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: There is only one solution

      " I'm afraid massive deaths (millions even billions) are going to be "normal" occurence."

      Current estimates for 20th C democide (i.e. civilian deaths by government order, not war):

      Chinese Communist Party is 77 million

      Soviet Union 62 million

      Nazi Germany 21 million

      Belgium 8 million

      Japan 5 million

      Turkey 2.5 million

      Cambodia 1.7 million

      North Korea 1.6 million

      Ethiopia 1.5 million

      Biafra 1 million

      When the government tells me to be afraid, it's not climate I'm afraid of...

      1. x 7

        Re: There is only one solution

        well pompous, when the migrations from Africa and the Middle East begin in earnest, and the fighting starts, expect those figures to become small fry. You're looking at entire country populations moving north and fighting to survive, or staying in place and dying

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: There is only one solution

          When, you say? It seems it's already happening.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: There is only one solution

            @ x 7 & ecofeco

            Back in 1960s and ’70s dire global-cooling predictions were hyped and given great credibility by Newsweek, Time, Life, National Geographic, and numerous other mainstream media outlets. According to the man-made global-cooling theories of the time, billions of people should be dead by now owing to cooling-linked crop failures and starvation. Where are they?

            UNEP predictions in 2005 claimed that, by 2010, some 50 million “climate refugees” would be frantically fleeing from the Caribbean and low-lying Pacific islands, along with coastal areas. Not only did the areas in question fail to produce a single “climate refugee,” by 2010, population levels for those regions were actually still soaring. In many cases, the areas that were supposed to be producing waves of “climate refugees” and becoming uninhabitable have turned out to be some of the fastest-growing places on Earth. The Solomon Islands for example saw a major population boom during that time frame, gaining another 100,000 people, or an increase of about 25 percent.

            China's top six fastest growing cities were all within the areas highlighted by the UN as likely sources of “climate refugees.” Many of the fastest-growing U.S. cities were also within or close to “climate refugee” danger zones touted by the UN.

            Rather than go on, I will leave you with the advice to watch out for that giant mutant spacegoat ;-)

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: There is only one solution

              Correction to the above; the UN estimate was for between 50 and 200 million climate refugees by 2010. Aging memory... Wonder where they're hiding?

              http://www.un.org/press/en/2008/ga10725.doc.htm

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: There is only one solution

      "Dubai simply cannot exist without the MASSIVE amount of oil being pumped out of the ground". True, but then again, they know it too, and they do invest heavily in solar power. When we assume they are, for some reason, more stupid than we are, then we should rather wonder about us and why we keep living in a world that does not exist but in our head. They do have other problems too, like water, but they know that too, but on the whole, they are, in a way, more concerned and prepared for the future than we Europeans tend to be.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't a really difficult problem

    As you say, the earth (or especially the ocean, if located on the coast) make great heat sinks.

    If you can't use that for some reason (i.e. building on bedrock) then you can use a variation of the "pre-cooling" thing you talked about. With sufficient and properly planned thermal mass you can put the inside of the building on an opposite schedule to the outside - that is, in the absence of interior climate controls the inside would reach its maximum temperature when the outside reaches its minimum, and vice versa.

    Then using traditional air conditioning that exchanges heat to the outside becomes most efficient, since you are running the AC at night and not running it during the day when its efficiency plummets due to the smaller difference between the coolant temperature and the outside temperature.

    1. Thought About IT

      Re: This isn't a really difficult problem

      An easier solution is to accept what the science says about the effect of our greenhouse gas emissions, and curtail them as quickly as we can. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is going to be much cheaper than any technological solution to clean up the mess afterwards.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This isn't a really difficult problem

        Except leaving the stuff in the ground means we may not make it that far. No one's been able to properly demonstrate a long-term solution that allows us to remain at or near current technological levels (since people won't give up these levels unless there's no other choice--they'll give up tomorrow to sustain today; who cares after they're dead?) while not relying on petroleum. Plus there's research into synthetic hydrocarbon production (the process is also inherently carbon-negative to offset its use).

        1. Rik Myslewski

          Re: This isn't a really difficult problem

          "No one's been able to properly demonstrate a long-term solution that allows us to remain at or near current technological levels."

          Uh, yes they have. Haven't been keeping up with the latest technological and economic developments, hmmm?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Thought About IT

        Your "easier solution" requires worldwide cooperation. The countries in the Persian Gulf can't even agree on things well enough to stop killing each other, let alone agreeing with major western governments.

        You might as well claim "develop working fusion reactors" as your easier solution - since that will happen long before the Persian Gulf has time to be worried about whether it will be getting a few degrees hotter outside over the next century.

  12. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Architects should be forced to live in the houses they design.

    1. x 7

      architects shouldn't be allowed to design houses. Or buildings.

      That job should go to the engineers...........function before form, not the other way round

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        'Knarchitects and Engineers

        "architects shouldn't be allowed to design houses. Or buildings."

        "That job should go to the engineers...........function before form, not the other way round"

        Not so simple. The problem of engineers designing buildings is you tend to end up with what Bill Bryson calls the "Fuck You School Architecture". 'Knarchitects* on the other hand can't be trusted to execute the design beyond the pretty picture stage. They are quite capable of designing something either impossible to build, or costs twice or more than it should.

        The Git speaks from experience here having built the world famous House of Steel, designed by an architect and modified by The Git with input solicited from engineers and experienced owner builders. Project managing the build was the best year of my life so far. It's certainly eye-catching and the most comfortable house I have ever lived in.

        Well worth reading: The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Boton

        * 'Knarchitect is a term of art employed by engineers

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Architects should be forced to live in the houses they design.

      I'm living in the house I (re)designed (partially; most of the outer walls and two structural inner walls are kept in place), but then I'm not an architect, and probably not even an engineer but a technician in this area of expertise.

      The architect involved (he was needed to draw the plans to be handed in for planning permission) offered an alternative design that a) ignored exactly those parts that we liked about the house, b) would require rebuilding everything in one go (our current rebuilding process resembles playing Sokoban, in a way) and c) the end result wouldn't be as fitting as my design.

  13. Andrew Tyler 1

    Experience

    My only experience with having to live in 50C was in Phoenix briefly, and my studied decision was that the site should be nuked from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Experience

      Arizona is tolerable because it is landlocked; the Sonora Desert is an arid desert in the lee of the Sierra Nevadas, and the nearest significant body of water (the Gulf of California, I think) is some distance away. Meaning the heat is mostly dry heat. People can survive dry heat as long as they can drink water as needed.

      1. x 7

        Re: Experience

        but the water there is running out

  14. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Predictions

    In 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb and declared that the battle to feed humanity had been lost and that there would be a major food shortage in the US. “In the 1970s … hundreds of millions are going to starve to death,” and by the 1980s most of the world’s important resources would be depleted. He forecast that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980-1989 and that by 1999, the US population would decline to 22.6 million. The problems in the US would be relatively minor compared to those in the rest of the world. (Ehrlich, Paul R. The Population Bomb. New York, Ballantine Books, 1968.) New Scientist magazine underscored his speech in an editorial titled “In Praise of Prophets.”

    When you get to The Git's age you start to notice that the predictions don't change, only the dates...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Predictions

      How true.

      Don't forget the Medieval warm period, that the warmists try to airbrush away by 'adjusting' the figures, was much warmer than anything we are seeing today.

      The thing is that with the climate jamboree due in Paris shortly we can expect a lot more of this propaganda from the CAGW believers and their tame media outlets and academic institutions.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Predictions

      Predictions are tricky, especially about the future.

      My personal nighmare is Radioactive Mutant Architects From Outer Space That Glow In The Dark (RMAFOSTGITD).

  15. scrubber
    Black Helicopters

    Hobbit Homes!!!

    Arrrgh. New World Order. Illuminati. Aliens. Lizard People...

    We're all doomed.

  16. Charles Manning

    First off: don't make such pathetic people

    Sure, 50-60C is getting pretty fierce (assuming that's even real), but modern air conditioning has lead to people that start falling apart at 30C.

    Until 1970 or so, people regularly handled high temperatures as part of their daily life. So why can't people just adapt back again?

    If nothing else we're an amazingly adaptable species. To think we can't adapt to a few degrees of temp change (either way) is ridiculous.

    1. itzman

      Re: First off: don't make such pathetic people

      Human body temp is 38.4C. If the air temp is above that we need to sweat to cool. If the humidity rises we cant use that and the only effective way is to radiate and that means black skin.

      And even that fails at temperatures much above 40C with 100% humidity.

      Human beings evolved to fill a tropical savannah climate niche,. Technology, from clothes to aircon and nuclear power, is what allows us to live beyond that niche.

      There isn't a problem with that, so long as the technology is sustainable.

      Green technology is not. The Big Lie is to claim its the only one that is.

      (Try making concrete with windmill or solar power...and then work out how many windmills it takes to build a windmill)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: First off: don't make such pathetic people

        "Human beings evolved to fill a tropical savannah climate niche,. Technology, from clothes to aircon and nuclear power, is what allows us to live beyond that niche."

        Humans originally evolved to handle the savannah, but as we spread out, we evolved further to handle our niches. The reason many of us eschewed dark skin was because melanin makes it harder to absorb vitamin D, so there's a tradeoff involved. Lanky bodies and adjustable metabolisms make it easier to handle heat and cold, respectively, but to each his own. And as noted, adaptation can only go so far in the face of sheer physics. I don't know of any human that can survive in consistently-below-freezing weather without clothing. Similarly, high-aridity deserts like the Sahara and Atacama usually can't be braved on adaptation alone.

        "Try making concrete with windmill or solar power...and then work out how many windmills it takes to build a windmill."

        Well, there's Roman concrete, which seemed to work out quite well in less-technological times. About the only tricky part is securing a supply of pozzalana.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: First off: don't make such pathetic people

        "(Try making concrete with windmill or solar power...and then work out how many windmills it takes to build a windmill)"

        They need to be tilted to just the correct angle.

      3. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: First off: don't make such pathetic people

        Don't forget that windmills and solar PV would rise considerably in price but for the Chinese government's tolerance of pollution. And it's not plant food pollution, it's really nasty stuff:

        www.businessinsider.com.au/photos-of-chinese-rare-earth-mining-2013-4

  17. JimmyPage

    Moving whole cities

    ... something the ancient Egyptians did many times, as the course of the Nile changed nover centuries ...

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Moving whole cities

      Historically, it's always happened. It's just in recent history that things have been so stable there was no need to.

      Rome threatened by barbarians? Just move and build a new Rome (Constantinople) and let them have have it. (Holy Roman Empire)

      I believe that was the last major city move in historical times.

      1. x 7

        Re: Moving whole cities

        but now you're not talking of moving a city of at most a few tens of thousands.....but instead whole nations of millions

        as to Rome, just the imperial family and important retainers moved - the Greeks took over the civil service function

  18. PhilipN Silver badge

    Dump heat in the sea

    Kill all the fish. Great!

    Smoked salmon I will miss.

    Kippers I won't.

  19. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Stop insisting that people work through the hottest part of the 24-hour cycle. I get *so* much more done by getting up at 3pm-ish and working through to 2am-ish.

  20. ecofeco Silver badge

    How did they survive?

    Is wasn't any kind of fancy technology. They migrated with the seasons. Regularly. Once settled, they stayed close to water sources.

    People still do.

    Although our current building practice are appalling in not using at least some basic, static thermal control.

    50C? You get the hell out of there and stay out until it cools down. Unless you already live in the cities that are already experiencing temps close to this, then, if you can, you go on vacation.

    To somewhere cooler. You know, migrate.

    My city is now regularly experiencing 40C temps for literally weeks on end every summer. It sucks. Big time. If your A/C goes out in your house out you are likely to die. If it goes out at the office, the office WILL close. If it goes out on your car, you get it fixed pronto. If it goes out on our fucking joke of mass transit system, they take that vehicle out of service.

    Me, I'm moving north as soon as I can afford it.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " surfaces will need to be coated with smart materials that reflect heat gain "

    Like white paint. A traditional solution.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Like white paint. A traditional solution."

      Not good enough for a place as hot as this. White still absorbs some heat, which in this case is still too much. You need something with much higher reflectivity: something closer to silver paint (like how the original "silver screens" really were silver instead of white to reflect more light from the film projectors). But silver's precious, so we need a more economical way to achieve the same feat.

      1. Tannin

        White paint is good. But there are indeed more effective materials - and they don't use silver so far as I know. See, for example, http://colorbond.com/learn/articles/thermatech-solar-reflectance-technology

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I'm just saying we need something like silver paint. I note that this ThermaTech coating technology is not available in the color they call Night Sky: probably because its too dark a color and physics gets in the way. I also don't see much of a comparison to say glossy white. They just say it's more reflective than comparable untreated colors: not that it's more reflective than glossy white.

  22. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Drougts & Famine

    Stumbled across this today: "Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era"

    http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/10/e1500561

    Very interesting maps based on the data.

  23. Zmodem

    im still good with a topless woman waving a big fan my direction

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Pics or it didn't happen.

  24. Chris G Silver badge

    Domed city

    I wonder if domed cities would work : Domes and Domed Shaped Roofs in Traditional Architecture

    Domed roofs have traditionally been used throughout the world to cover large area and spans. In Iranian architecture, they have played another significant role of reducing the total heat gain from the roof and providing a passive cooling effect for the building they served [1]. Domes play very important role in building stability [2] therefore are very important in architectural design [3] especially when we want to interact traditional architecture and contemporary architecture of Iran. [4] Usage of indigenous architectural patterns and modeling traditional achievements [5] are suitable ways to fulfill a helpful strategy [6] for contemporary architecture [7] which roots in traditional architecture of hot and dry climate. In addition to Aesthetical characteristics, the presence of domed roof covered by glazed tiles and ventilation possibility through exterior skylight provide the monuments with more efficient thermal performance; so that, it was occasionally considered as a sole solution to optimally design in previous architecture and deal with extremities of the climate. Accordingly, long ago, there have been myths about ideal performance of dome shape roofs so that currently, many believe that it carries less energy loss in comparison to other architectural forms; whether correct, the claim has not experimentally proven.

    Taken from http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajcea/1/6/1/

    Iran and areas around there have used domes for centuries because they are thermally and structurally efficient.

    PV on the top of the dome of course for when the oil runs out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Domed city

      One very important question unanswered: How does the dome shape prevent deleterious effects like the Greenhouse Effect (which IINM can happen with any enclosed glass exposed to the Sun because light can pass through while infrared--heat--doesn't)?

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Domed city

        You are referring here to what might be called the genuine greenhouse effect. It has nothing whatsoever to do with IR not passing through the greenhouse film. My previous greenhouse used polythene that is almost completely transparent to IR*. The greenhouse effect is suppression of convection. Hot air that would otherwise rise is trapped under the membrane. More realistically, it is slowed. Successful greenhouses need copious ventilation to prevent excessive heat.

        * You can purchase IR opaque greenhouse film, but it's expensive. Only needed for out of season production to conserve heat on cold nights. It reduces the fuel bill.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Domed city

        How would a dome covered in PV be transparent and why would anyone build a dome in that kind of climate without being able to vent hot air?

        The whole point would be to provide shade and insulation from the heat, convection within would obviously be useful to move hot air out and cooler air lower down in.

        Glass would not be my first choice with which to roof a city sized dome, the weight penalty would be extreme.

  25. raving angry loony

    Another trick...

    When I was in the UAE, they had a law that said that if the official temperature rose about 50'C that businesses should close, because a lot of the underclass (read "not quite slaves") still worked in buildings that weren't air-conditioned. Oddly, even when my own thermometer read above 50'C, the official one seemed quite stuck at 49.9'C, and no "day off" was called. Not sure what the laws are now, haven't been back in eons.

    Back then the UAE was one big cesspit of corruption. If you're a national, you can do no wrong. If you're a (white) expat, you're pretty well set until you annoy a national, at which point you better have a fast and efficient exit strategy. If your skin is brown but you're not a national, good luck with that. I don't imagine it's changed much in the meantime.

    In other words, those doing the work will leave (one way or another, either they'll just die, or they'll go somewhere where they're not going to be roasted alive if they're allowed to leave by their slave-owners). Far as I'm concerned, let the nationals roast.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lightning ridge, coober pedy.

    Already meet these challenges. Wow, let's spend millions on heat proofing skyscrapers instead.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use sea/rivers as heat sinks

    One opportunity would be to use the Earth or the sea/rivers as “heat sinks”

    NO! Increasing the ambient water temperature is harmful or even deadly to most marine life.

    (Already being proven around the globe thanks to natural warming of the seas. Also proven in rivers near countless industrial installations)

  28. rh587 Silver badge

    We can learn a lot from our ancestors. Current form is to throw technology at the problem, but I'll always remember visiting the Amber Fort in Rajasthan and not being uncomfortably hot at all, despite the fact it was midday.

    Why? Well, clever layout of the palace led to differential heating that meant wherever you walked you had a comfortable breeze keeping you cool both inside and out.

    One of the Royal Pavilions on the roof also had a couple of big water tanks which would have dripped water down curtains of reeds, with evaporative cooling keeping the space within nice and cool. Clever stuff for the 1590s.

    The latter possibly isn't the most efficient system going these days, but there are lots of lessons on building & street layout that could be learned.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021