Another challenge of climate change

Discussions and debates about climate change always focus on the build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases in the atmosphere and consequent rising temperatures in the not-too-distant future. The aim is to stimulate action to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, as is less-often mentioned, the accumulation of greenhouse gases to date is so great that even if their emissions were reduced to zero now, there would be little effect on global warming for several decades. That is why the approach taken by CIBSE for a recent conference is so refreshing. Called ‘Understanding and adapting buildings for climate change’ it considered how to respond to the effects of climate change — depending on the extent of those changes. Buildings must somehow be kept comfortable without increasing climate change. One concern for engineers is that historical weather data cannot be relied on to design services with a performance that will be adequate for the entire future life of a building. Appropriate responses are called for, which must include the development of guidelines. In the meantime Modern Building Services will be considering how to respond to climate change in a special feature in the next issue. Ensure you receive your copy by filling registering online.
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