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Author Topic: Extreme weather  (Read 50333 times)

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #100 on: July 15, 2019, 08:04:58 am »

We take heat for granted in the US because of the massive amount of air conditioning in homes and offices that keep things tolerable.  The vast number of people in the world do not have such a 'luxury' including much of Western Europe.  The last bad heat wave in Europe (ten years ago???) saw over 100 deaths in Paris IIRC.

Yes, air-conditioning can mitigate. But what if the power supply fails? And if the power is generated with fossil fuels, it will only add to the problem.

It also takes a different style of housing/building construction (better isolation, smaller windows, and 'green' roofs) and city planning (more room for trees and vegetation, to improve evapotranspiration and create more shadow areas, and rainwater storage facilities). Urban Heat Island effects have a significant impact on local heat-stress conditions. It easily exceeds an additional temperature rise of 2- 5 degrees Celsius locally (or more near the dark surface of roads, so children and small animals/pets are even more affected).

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 08:18:23 am by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #101 on: July 15, 2019, 09:11:11 am »

  • Average global temperatures increases are just that, Average. The extremes will become more extreme, and it will heat-up faster on the Northern hemisphere with more landmass.
  • Statistics from the USA indicate that at the current rate of warming, 1% more deaths are expected/reported due to heat-stress in the USA .
  • More Cities in several regions, like in India, are becoming too hot for human life.
  • More regions are falling victim to flooding due to the expanding watervolumes and heavier local downpours.
  • More periods of extreme drought will cause failed harvests.
  • In my country we are suffering from exotic insect infestations (and we're situated at a latitude similar to The Canada/USA border), there are not enough natural enemies for those insects. Currently, we have a tripling of the number of Oak Procession-Caterpillars (Thaumethopea processionea) in 1 year, and there are not enough resources to clean the environment with mechanical means. They cause extreme irritation that can result in anaphylactic shock. Another version that lives on pine trees is approaching fast.
  • Mosquitoes have 'hatched' 1 month earlier than usual, and we are at the verge of losing the battle with the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) which carries the West Nile virus and Dengue fever, which is likely to permanently settle in my country (without natural enemies it will cause explosive growth of those mosquitoes). Malaria mosquitoes are inbound as well.
And it's not just that on average it's getting warmer, it's the relatively extreme rate of increase that's unprecedented. Nature cannot adapt fast enough, so ecosystems will suffer casualties. Human behavior is one of the main reasons that ecosystems are spiraling out of control.

Cheers,
Bart
More people die from cold than heat.  A few extra degrees in  winter will save lives.  There are positives as well as negatives from warming. 


In any case, why don;t we address climate change fro the standpoint of what we can to about the effects. It doesn;t seem like we're going to change it.  It's like complaining about the weather. 

RSL

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #102 on: July 15, 2019, 09:16:36 am »

Yes, air-conditioning can mitigate. But what if the power supply fails? And if the power is generated with fossil fuels, it will only add to the problem.

It also takes a different style of housing/building construction (better isolation, smaller windows, and 'green' roofs) and city planning (more room for trees and vegetation, to improve evapotranspiration and create more shadow areas, and rainwater storage facilities). Urban Heat Island effects have a significant impact on local heat-stress conditions. It easily exceeds an additional temperature rise of 2- 5 degrees Celsius locally (or more near the dark surface of roads, so children and small animals/pets are even more affected).

Cheers,
Bart

Obviously we all should go back to hunting and gathering. That would eliminate the supposed cause of the problem.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #103 on: July 15, 2019, 09:16:44 am »

  • We take heat for granted in the US because of the massive amount of air conditioning in homes and offices that keep things tolerable.  The vast number of people in the world do not have such a 'luxury' including much of Western Europe.  The last bad heat wave in Europe (ten years ago???) saw over 100 deaths in Paris IIRC.
    [/l][/l]
Hot spikes may be worse.  But cold cumulative appears worse.  In any case, take your pick.  Here's an article that compares differing conclusions from US Federal Agencies of which is worse.  Just like climate change itself, the data and analysis are not so clear cut.

https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Which-Kills-More-People-Extreme-Heat-or-Extreme-Cold[/list]

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #104 on: July 15, 2019, 09:17:29 am »

Obviously we all should go back to hunting and gathering. That would eliminate the supposed cause of the problem.
I love campfires.  Would that be OK?  Can we roast marshmallows? 

LesPalenik

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #105 on: July 15, 2019, 10:11:29 am »

More people die from cold than heat.  A few extra degrees in  winter will save lives.  There are positives as well as negatives from warming. 

Not according to my sources. During the heat wave in July 2018 in Quebec, hospitalizations almost doubled and deaths outside hospitals more than tripled. Public-health officials recorded almost 6,000 ambulance calls and 66 heat-related deaths. And it can get even worse.

As Alan Goldhammer pointed out, most households in central and northern Europe do not have air-conditioning and the houses and apartments were not built for it, so if a heat wave comes, there is not much people can do.

Quote
The first seriously scary heat wave of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer is a good time to remember that extreme heat in the U.S. already causes more deaths than any other severe weather event, killing an estimated 1,500 people each year. And the future looks dangerously hotter: The United Nations warned last November that global temperatures are on track to rise by at least 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, soaring past the two-degree goal that nearly 200 cities signed onto in 2015 as part of the Paris Agreement.

With funding from the Union of Concerned Scientists, researchers modeled the relationship between mortality and temperature rise in 15 U.S. cities across various regions. They estimate that as many as 1,980 deaths per city could be avoided in a 1-in-30-year heat wave event if global heating is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, rather than 3 degrees. If temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the potential number of lives saved jumps up to as much as 2,716.

If the world hits that 3-degree threshold, once-rare heat cataclysms would become routine. An event as deadly as the three-day 1995 heat wave in Chicago, which killed 739 people—many of them elderly, isolated, and living on fixed incomes—could happen once every 1.4 years.

https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/06/extreme-heat-wave-data-deaths-health-risks-climate-change/590941/

JoeKitchen

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #106 on: July 15, 2019, 10:48:16 am »

Yes, air-conditioning can mitigate. But what if the power supply fails? And if the power is generated with fossil fuels, it will only add to the problem.

It also takes a different style of housing/building construction (better isolation, smaller windows, and 'green' roofs) and city planning (more room for trees and vegetation, to improve evapotranspiration and create more shadow areas, and rainwater storage facilities). Urban Heat Island effects have a significant impact on local heat-stress conditions. It easily exceeds an additional temperature rise of 2- 5 degrees Celsius locally (or more near the dark surface of roads, so children and small animals/pets are even more affected).

Cheers,
Bart

Wouldn't smaller windows increase the need for more interior lights and electricity, thus adding to the problem?  I like being able to not have to turn on any lights during the day.  Granted my interiors are all painted white, but having large bay windows really helps. 

Now insofar as the modern move in housing and building construction, it is a double edged sword that can have some pretty bad side effects.  For starters, since buildings are made so much more air tight then before, indoor air quality is worse then what it use to be.  It is even the case that with modern office buildings you can no longer open the windows.  Even though we have come a long way in HVAC technology, it still does not replace a nice breeze bringing in fresh air. 

On top of that, tighter built houses require a significantly higher build quality, which not all contractors will master, since moisture gets trapped inside the walls and does not evaporate out.  This will lead to rot in many cases, and, even with properly built homes, it can be difficult to avoid.  In my house, which was built in the 1920s, my joists sit directly in masonry joist pockets on top of the brick.  Having wood on brick/stone goes against all logic since brick/stone releases moisture, causing rot.  But since my house is not completely air tight, this moisture dries out before rot can set in and my near 100 year old joists are all in great condition.

Masonry joist pockets are now against code due to how air tight houses are required to be built today.  So work arounds are devised, such as using treated rim joists sitting on the foundation with metal joist hangers.  But even here, treated wood eventually rots and replacing a rim joist is no easy task. 

Insulation too can have bad effects on facades, especially masonry ones.  Although most houses no long use masonry baring walls, many have masonry facades, which absorb moisture.  Problem though is that moisture trapped in stone during a freeze thaw cycle will cause micro cracks in the masonry material, leading to failure over time.  Fortunately, heated bricks/stones hold less moisture, so if your house is not insulated, you have nothing to worry about since the heat will force the moisture out.  However, unless you have closed cell spray foam directly on the inner side of the masonry wall, insulating an exterior masonry wall will lead to eventual failure.  You cant prevent moisture from being drawn into the wall from convection currents that naturally form during the winter, even with a moisture barrier.  Moisture barriers only protect from moisture dispersion, which only accounts for about 5% of moisture entering into the interior wall. 

(FYI, if you have masonry baring wall, never insulate them except with closed-cell foam.) 

I feel like with some of these modern building techniques, we are getting more efficient heating and cooling at the expense of the need to preform major maintenance projects more often.  On top of that, many contractors are just being trained in modern techniques and materials, some of which can not be used with older houses.  For instance, my foundation is schist stone, which is a softer stone.  Modern mortar mixes use a 3:1 ratio of sand to Portland cement and this cures to being harder then schist, and many pre-WW1 stone/brick.  You never want the mortar to be harder then the stone, since it will cause the wall to eventually fail, so you need to use a more dilute mix. 

Although many masons know that mortars need to be softer then the stone, nearly all available modern stones/bricks are harder then the standard mortar mix.  So in many cases, it never crosses their minds to use a more dilute mix if they are working on an older house. 
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 11:05:48 am by JoeKitchen »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #107 on: July 15, 2019, 10:51:34 am »

Not according to my sources. During the heat wave in July 2018 in Quebec, hospitalizations almost doubled and deaths outside hospitals more than tripled. Public-health officials recorded almost 6,000 ambulance calls and 66 heat-related deaths. And it can get even worse.

As Alan Goldhammer pointed out, most households in central and northern Europe do not have air-conditioning and the houses and apartments were not built for it, so if a heat wave comes, there is not much people can do.

https://www.citylab.com/environment/2019/06/extreme-heat-wave-data-deaths-health-risks-climate-change/590941/

Your post stated from the article:
"With funding from the Union of Concerned Scientists, researchers modeled the relationship between mortality and temperature rise in 15 U.S. cities across various regions. They estimate that as many as 1,980 deaths per city could be avoided in a 1-in-30-year heat wave event if global heating is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, rather than 3 degrees. If temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the potential number of lives saved jumps up to as much as 2,716."

How can a model be so accurate for something that happens once in 30 years trying to estimate deaths based on a one degree difference?    In any case, where's the model for a 1 in 30 year freeze snap that will not occur because it's warmer due to climate change.  My point is that scientists are always looking at the negatives for warming, never the positives.  So the public only hears part of the news making false analysis and making bad recommendations on what to do.  These scientists just cherry picked the data and the study to show bad things.  That's not good science. 

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #108 on: July 15, 2019, 10:56:15 am »

Wouldn't smaller windows increase the need for more interior lights and electricity, thus adding to the problem?  I like being able to not have to turn on any lights during the day.  Granted my interiors are all painted white, but having large bay windows really helps. 
LED lighting is a game changer in terms of electric usage.  Windows are very energy efficient.  Some years ago we replaced all the windows in our 1955 built house and saved 20% on both heating and AC costs.

Quote
Now insofar as the modern move in housing and building construction, it is a double edged sword that can have some pretty bad side effects.  For starters, since buildings are made so much more air tight then before, indoor air quality is worse then what it use to be.  It is even the case that with modern office buildings you can no longer open the windows.  Even though we have come a long way in HVAC technology, it still does not replace a nice breeze bringing in fresh air. 
Yes, this is a problem with office buildings

Quote
On top of that, tighter built houses require a significantly higher build quality, which not all contractors will master, since moisture gets trapped inside the walls and does not evaporate out.  This will lead to rot in many cases, and, even with properly built homes, it can be difficult to avoid.  In my house, which was built in the 1920s, my joists sit directly in masonry joist pockets on top of the brick.  Having wood on brick/stone goes against all logic since brick/stone releases moisture, causing rot.  But since my house is not completely air tight, this moisture dries out before rot can set in and my near 100 year old joists are all in great condition.
I think Tyvek which is used in most construction as the outer sheet is permeable and allows moisture to escape.

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Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #109 on: July 15, 2019, 11:07:00 am »

Wouldn't smaller windows increase the need for more interior lights and electricity, thus adding to the problem?  I like being able to not have to turn on any lights during the day.  Granted my interiors are all painted white, but having large bay windows really helps. 

Now insofar as the modern move in housing and building construction, it is a double edged sword that can have some pretty bad side effects.  For starters, since buildings are made so much more air tight then before, indoor air quality is worse then what it use to be.  It is even the case that with modern office buildings you can no longer open the windows.  Even though we have come a long way in HVAC technology, it still does not replace a nice breeze bringing in fresh air. 

On top of that, tighter built houses require a significantly higher build quality, which not all contractors will master, since moisture gets trapped inside the walls and does not evaporate out.  This will lead to rot in many cases, and, even with properly built homes, it can be difficult to avoid.  In my house, which was built in the 1920s, my joists sit directly in masonry joist pockets on top of the brick.  Having wood on brick/stone goes against all logic since brick/stone releases moisture, causing rot.  But since my house is not completely air tight, this moisture dries out before rot can set in and my near 100 year old joists are all in great condition.

Masonry joist pockets are now against code due to how air tight houses are required to be built today.  So work arounds are devised, such as using treated rim joists sitting on the foundation with metal joist hangers.  But even here, treated wood eventually rots and replacing a rim joist is no easy task. 

Insulation too can have bad effects on facades, especially masonry ones.  Although most houses no long use masonry baring walls, many have masonry facades, which absorb moisture.  Problem though is that moisture trapped in stone during a freeze thaw cycle will cause micro cracks in the masonry material, leading to failure over time.  Fortunately, heated bricks/stones hold less moisture, so if your house is not insulated, you have nothing to worry about since the heat will force the moisture out.  However, unless you have closed cell spray foam directly on the inner side of the masonry wall, insulating an exterior masonry wall will lead to eventual failure.  You cant prevent moisture from being drawn into the wall from convection currents that naturally form during the winter, even with a moisture barrier.  Moisture barriers only protect from moisture dispersion, which only accounts for about 5% of moisture entering into the interior wall. 

(FYI, if you have masonry baring wall, never insulate them except with closed-cell foam.) 

I feel like with some of these modern building techniques, we are getting more efficient heating and cooling at the expense of the need to preform major maintenance projects more often.  On top of that, many contractors are just being trained in modern techniques and materials, some of which can not be used with older houses.  For instance, my foundation is schist stone, which is a softer stone.  Modern mortar mixes use a 3:1 ratio of sand to Portland cement and this cures to being harder then schist, and many pre-WW1 stone.  You never want the mortar to be harder then the stone, since it will cause the wall to eventually fail, so you need to use a more dilute mix. 

Although many masons know that mortars need to be softer then the stone, nearly all available modern stones/bricks are harder then the standard mortar mix.  So in many cases, it never crosses their minds to use a more dilute mix if they are working on an older house. 
Joe Your house renovation is really making you an expert at these things.  I live in a ten year old home.  My utility bills are really low even though I keep the temperature set at 72 degrees year round.  There's 6 inch insulation in all the exteriors walls and above the ceiling in the attic.  All window are double pane.  Right now I opened the doors and windows to air out the place.  I wait until my wife leaves because she doesn;t like it because pollen gets in.  But you got to air out rooms from odors and other pollutants.   
Just a clarification because I worked in the HVAC industry.  Office building systems are required to have minimum fresh air intakes for ventilation, let's say 10-15%.  The rest is recirculated to keep energy costs down.  The CFM is calculated by code against the full system supply that's based on a number of changes per hour for the square feet being heated and cooled.  Besides health, you don't want workers falling asleep from 100% stale, recirculated air. I'm not familiar with home construction whether there are fresh air requirements.  Frankly, I don;t even know what's in my house except that its sealed very well and I love my utility bills. 

JoeKitchen

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #110 on: July 15, 2019, 11:13:14 am »

Joe Your house renovation is really making you an expert at these things.  I live in a ten year old home.  My utility bills are really low even though I keep the temperature set at 72 degrees year round.  There's 6 inch insulation in all the exteriors walls and above the ceiling in the attic.  All window are double pane.  Right now I opened the doors and windows to air out the place.  I wait until my wife leaves because she doesn;t like it because pollen gets in.  But you got to air out rooms from odors and other pollutants.   
Just a clarification because I worked in the HVAC industry.  Office building systems are required to have minimum fresh air intakes for ventilation, let's say 10-15%.  The rest is recirculated to keep energy costs down.  The CFM is calculated by code against the full system supply that's based on a number of changes per hour for the square feet being heated and cooled.  Besides health, you don't want workers falling asleep from 100% stale, recirculated air. I'm not familiar with home construction whether there are fresh air requirements.  Frankly, I don;t even know what's in my house except that its sealed very well and I love my utility bills.

The saving grace with my utility bills is that my house is a connect townhouse (row house) in the middle of the block.  So I only loose energy through the two 16 foot wide front and rear walls, and my roof, which is not insulated (plus my parti-walls are plaster directly on brick, giving me a few more inches of width).  If I could insulate my roof, I would, but I don't feel like taking on a $10K roofing project right now. 
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LesPalenik

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #111 on: July 15, 2019, 11:18:11 am »

Your post stated from the article:
"With funding from the Union of Concerned Scientists, researchers modeled the relationship between mortality and temperature rise in 15 U.S. cities across various regions. They estimate that as many as 1,980 deaths per city could be avoided in a 1-in-30-year heat wave event if global heating is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, rather than 3 degrees. If temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the potential number of lives saved jumps up to as much as 2,716."

How can a model be so accurate for something that happens once in 30 years trying to estimate deaths based on a one degree difference?    In any case, where's the model for a 1 in 30 year freeze snap that will not occur because it's warmer due to climate change.  My point is that scientists are always looking at the negatives for warming, never the positives.  So the public only hears part of the news making false analysis and making bad recommendations on what to do.  These scientists just cherry picked the data and the study to show bad things.  That's not good science. 

Alan, that model might be hypothetical, but the quoted Montreal death reports are real.

And if you couple an extreme weather event (heat or freeze) with a hypothetical power outage, the results could be catastrophic. A few winters ago, we had here a storm combined with freezing rain, and many power lines went down. Although my gas furnace runs on gas, it needs the electricity for its thermostat, so I was shivering for two days. Fortunately, in the two days the indoor temperature didn't go down below 40F, so the water pipes didn't burst. However, some homes didn't get their power back for 3-5 days, so there was all kinds of damage (not including fallen trees). I worry equally about the extreme cold snaps as about the heat waves.

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #112 on: July 15, 2019, 11:18:41 am »

  • We take heat for granted in the US because of the massive amount of air conditioning in homes and offices that keep things tolerable.  The vast number of people in the world do not have such a 'luxury' including much of Western Europe.  The last bad heat wave in Europe (ten years ago???) saw over 100 deaths in Paris IIRC.
    [/l][/l]
As someone who lived in hot NYC all my life, I've taken air conditioning for granted, assuming everyone has it.  I was surprised that even going to upper NY or much of New England, that many, maybe most homes are not air conditioned.  When my wife and I would look for a house to rent for a week, let's say in the Adirondack Mountains, that was one of the first questions we asked, after"do you accept dogs".  Amazing how many people would say it doesn't get that hot.  And you don;t need air conditioning only to find when you go, it's sweltering without AC.  I guess people get use to it. We never did.

In any case, I wouldn't knock air conditioning.  It's made FLorida what it is which would still be swamp without it.  Who'd want to live there to sweat?     Where would Canadians go in the winter?  :)
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #113 on: July 15, 2019, 11:23:45 am »

JOffice building systems are required to have minimum fresh air intakes for ventilation, let's say 10-15%.  The rest is recirculated to keep energy costs down.  The CFM is calculated by code against the full system supply that's based on a number of changes per hour for the square feet being heated and cooled.  Besides health, you don't want workers falling asleep from 100% stale, recirculated air. I'm not familiar with home construction whether there are fresh air requirements.  Frankly, I don;t even know what's in my house except that its sealed very well and I love my utility bills.
Building codes differ by state and sometimes even locality.  My late father was a structural engineer and co-founder of an architectural firm in San Diego.  though most of their work was in San Diego county they did have occasional jobs outside California and codes were different, particularly in areas where there are no earthquake threats. 

Home construction differs in that heating and cooling have installation codes at least in Maryland.  We have to have an inspection done each time we did a full heating/cooling replacement.  AC compressors do not bring any fresh air into the house and even with it running one day with all the windows and doors closed the house will get quite stale.  Fortunately, most mornings so far this summer are relatively nice so we can open windows and doors to air the house out.  Most years our utility bill for AC is higher than that for heating.  It costs more to cool than heat even with modern day units.
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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #114 on: July 15, 2019, 11:26:35 am »

Alan, that model might be hypothetical, but the quoted Montreal death reports are real.

And if you couple an extreme weather event (heat or freeze) with a hypothetical power outage, the results could be catastrophic. A few winters ago, we had here a storm combined with freezing rain, and many power lines went down. Although my gas furnace runs on gas, it needs the electricity for its thermostat, so I was shivering for two days. Fortunately, in the two days the indoor temperature didn't go down below 40F, so the water pipes didn't burst. However, some homes didn't get their power back for 3-5 days, so there was all kinds of damage (not including fallen trees). I worry equally about the extreme cold snaps as about the heat waves.

Les, I'm sure they're real. But they only analyzed warm snaps.  A fair assessment would be to analyze cold snaps as well and what a warming trend will do at that end of the scale.  Having only half the data distorts the results.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, power was lost in my community (before i moved here) for a week.  Afterwards, a lot of people installed electric generators that are connected to the natural gas lines for fuel to run.  I didn't think it was worth it.  Plus you have to deal with regular testing and maintenance, just another problem to deal with.  I figure that the worse that could happen is we lose the food in the freezer and refrigerator.  It would cost a lot less to restock than pay for a generator.  I suppose I could run an extension cord to my next door neighbor's unit.  :)

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #115 on: July 15, 2019, 11:28:01 am »

As someone who lived in hot NYC all my life, I've taken air conditioning for granted, assuming everyone has it.  I was surprised that even going to upper NY or much of New England, that many, maybe most homes are not air conditioned.  When my wife and I would look for a house to rent for a week, let's say in the Adirondack Mountains, that was one of the first questions we asked, after"do you accept dogs".  Amazing how many people would say it doesn't get that hot.  And you don;t need air conditioning only to find when you go, it's sweltering without AC.  I guess people get use to it. We never did.

In any case, I wouldn't knock air conditioning.  It's made FLorida what it is which would still be swamp without it.  Who'd want to live there to sweat?     Where would Canadians go in the winter?  :)
I grew up in San Diego and we never had air conditioning.  The only times temperatures got hot was in September when we would get Santa Ana dessert winds.  Temps would go up to 100F or more but it was dry heat with no humidity.  Only when I moved to Indiana for grad school did I live with AC.  I really don't like AC other than to take the humidity out of the house and we keep the thermostat set at 78F which is fine with me.

I've been to Florida a number of times and would never want to live there.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #116 on: July 15, 2019, 11:36:01 am »

Les, I'm sure they're real. But they only analyzed warm snaps.  A fair assessment would be to analyze cold snaps as well and what a warming trend will do at that end of the scale.  Having only half the data distorts the results.

When Hurricane Sandy hit, power was lost in my community (before i moved here) for a week.  Afterwards, a lot of people installed electric generators that are connected to the natural gas lines for fuel to run.  I didn't think it was worth it.  Plus you have to deal with regular testing and maintenance, just another problem to deal with.  I figure that the worse that could happen is we lose the food in the freezer and refrigerator.  It would cost a lot less to restock than pay for a generator.  I suppose I could run an extension cord to my next door neighbor's unit.  :)
LOL, I did the same calculation.  We used to have regular power outages because of tree branches snapping power lines.  The local utility was forced by the county to engage in an aggressive tree trimming plan and this seems to have worked.  We went for three years before having a 2 hour outage last Thursday because of a bad storm with high winds.  We would also have problems in the winter because of ice storms also snapping off branches.  One year we were out of power for four days in February.  It was weird because right after the ice storm a warm front came through and temperatures outside during the daylight hour were higher than those in the house.  We keep the house at 68F during the winter and after the power went off (furnace is gas forced air and requires electricity for the blower motor) the house went down to about 53F rather quickly.  We sent the girls over to friends who had power so they would not complain and we just added an extra quilt to the bet.  I kept simmering pots of water on the stove in the kitchen to keep it somewhat warm.

I never felt the need to get one of the generators you mention.  Up front costs and maintenance for maybe two days a year isn't worth it. 
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LesPalenik

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #117 on: July 15, 2019, 11:36:21 am »

Les, I'm sure they're real. But they only analyzed warm snaps.  A fair assessment would be to analyze cold snaps as well and what a warming trend will do at that end of the scale.  Having only half the data distorts the results.

I don't have number of freezing deaths, but based on the newspaper reports, I would estimate it at several dozens per year (for the whole of Canada).
Actually, we get here more death cases because of drowning than from freeze. There were 423 unintentional water-related fatalities in Canadian waters in 2015, a good part of them drunken boaters or daredevils on skidoos on thin ice.
 

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #118 on: July 15, 2019, 11:42:11 am »

Building codes differ by state and sometimes even locality.  My late father was a structural engineer and co-founder of an architectural firm in San Diego.  though most of their work was in San Diego county they did have occasional jobs outside California and codes were different, particularly in areas where there are no earthquake threats. 

Home construction differs in that heating and cooling have installation codes at least in Maryland.  We have to have an inspection done each time we did a full heating/cooling replacement.  AC compressors do not bring any fresh air into the house and even with it running one day with all the windows and doors closed the house will get quite stale.  Fortunately, most mornings so far this summer are relatively nice so we can open windows and doors to air the house out.  Most years our utility bill for AC is higher than that for heating.  It costs more to cool than heat even with modern day units.
Earthquakes have nothing to do with ventilation requirements.  I've done HVAC control since 1969, in NYC.  Codes for HVAC systems always required ventilation in ducted systems.  Even then.  The idea that an office building with sealed windows would not have ventilation requirements in other localities isn't true.  Air Quality standards have been in effect for at least 40 years,  Codes follow at a minimum American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) ventilation standards.  No mechanical engineer (licensed Professional Engineer PE) would write a specification that does not include ventilation and air quality to  meet ASHRAE standards. 


By the way, the compressor outside your home is to circulate the liquid Freon  or Puron refrigerant through coolant piping.  It doesn't circulate air at all. That's the function of the HVAC system fan in the duct.  Unless you actually look at the ductwork to check if there's a fresh air intake, you really don;t know what your system is doing.  You could have fresh air or not. 

Alan Klein

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Re: Extreme weather
« Reply #119 on: July 15, 2019, 11:45:44 am »

I grew up in San Diego and we never had air conditioning.  The only times temperatures got hot was in September when we would get Santa Ana dessert winds.  Temps would go up to 100F or more but it was dry heat with no humidity.  Only when I moved to Indiana for grad school did I live with AC.  I really don't like AC other than to take the humidity out of the house and we keep the thermostat set at 78F which is fine with me.

I've been to Florida a number of times and would never want to live there.
Never been to San Diego.  But my cousin lived there and loved it.  The weather is great I understand. 
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