How To Handle Record High Summer Temperatures

hot-temperaturesReducing overall energy consumption allows more leeway during crippling heat waves across the Middle East.

We are all feeling the heat (not just Iran). And though we are cautious about assumptions that global warming is contributing to these higher temperatures, we can’t deny that we are spending a little more time under our fans and air-conditioning units. Unfortunately, the very reactions we have to rising temperatures – driving instead of walking and using air-conditioning instead of fans – are among the factors that contribute to climate change in the first place. Also, using electricity at peak periods puts pressure on the grid, increasing risk of power cuts. So how do we stay cool without pumping carbons and taxing the grid?

Record swelter

Meteorologist Jeff Masters reports in weather underground that temperatures around the globe after 2007, during which year 15 temperature records were broken, are higher than ever. And the summer isn’t even over yet. People are dying in Russia, and Finland and the American Northeast are experiencing extreme heat waves.

“The most intense heat of the summer has occurred in the typically hot Middle East,” Paul Yeager quotes Masters. Saudi Arabia and Iraq have experienced 125.5 degree temperatures, while Pakistan’s citizens melt from whopping 128.3 degrees. These higher temperatures are “produced by persistent and strong high pressure systems in the upper levels of the atmosphere.

Power outs

Meanwhile, in Egypt, which country had hoped to reduce its energy consumption by half, has been hit instead with involuntary power cuts.

“High temperatures and an overload on the national grid system caused a blackout in seven Governates in Upper Egypt. Dr. Aktham Abu al Ola, First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity, blamed the outage on recent temperatures of almost 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) and an excess load on the electricity network of more than 23,000 megawatts,” according to Christina Baghdady.

Stay cool

We understand the impulse to stay cool and protect blood and brains from cooking, but it is wise to exercise caution in order to ensure a lasting electricity supply for everyone while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions.  Here are a few general electricity saving tips from Power Scorecard:

  • Insulate walls and ceilings and save 20-30% of home heating bills. The same applies to cooling;
  • Plant shade trees and paint your house a lighter color to deflect heat;
  • Weatherize your home to prevent leaks;
  • Turn down your refrigerator, which is a huge energy guzzler;
  • Wash with cool or warm water instead of hot;
  • Reduce the temperature of your water heater by 20 degrees;
  • Where possible, use energy efficient appliances, though in the Middle East, this is rarely applicable.
  • Only cool as much as necessary; in some cases, it might be useful to cool down only one or two rooms with air-conditioning, while using fans for the rest of the house.

Power cuts are dangerous to everyone and should be avoided at all costs. A little cut back in the short term can lead to sustained comfort in the long term.

:: image courtesy of kevndooley, and story via Enduring America and Aol

More Hot News from the Middle East:
Record Hot Summer Ignites Forest Fires in Iran
3 Good and 3 Bad Sunscreen Tips for a Healthy Summer
Israel’s Bedouin Want Their Rightful Share of the Sun

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