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Wednesday, October 19

Convergence: Middle East's skyrocketing heat and use of HFCs

I got a bad feeling when I read about the landmark agreement this weekend to phase out the use of airconditioners, refrigerators, and foam insulation that generate heat-trapping hydrofluocarbons, which greatly contribute to the warming of Earth's temperatures. Immediately I typed "HFCs Middle East" into Google's search engine. Immediately my fear was validated:  Saudi Arabia blocks action on super-polluting HFCs

Granted, the report is from 2014, but the Saudis have no choice but to attempt to brake the suspension of HFCs. They and other Middle Eastern governments in the heat-sink regions are trapped in a vicious cycle:
Thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide, [HFCs] could account for 19% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 if their manufacture continues unchecked.
The chief concern is that there are no substitutes for HFCs proven to work in air conditioning under the scorching temperatures of the Middle East – at least not that are available at competitive prices.
Bottom line, from the Scientific American report I linked to above: 
This weekend’s agreement by nearly 200 members of the Montreal Protocol will be legally binding, inviting trade sanctions for countries that fail to live up to their obligations. It would reduce global HFC levels by between 80 and 85 percent by 2047, helping the world avoid nearly half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.
2047?  Are they kidding?  Much of the Middle East will be fried by then -- unlivable for humans. Microclimates and the urban heat effect have been greatly ignored by climate scientists in favor of studying 'global' warming.  

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