Is Air Conditioning Making the World Hotter?
A study published in 2020 found that air conditioning during a heatwave can raise the outside temperature by up to 2.4 degrees Celsius. Air conditioners work like heat pumps, cooling indoor spaces by releasing hot air outside. As the use of air conditioners is expected to increase with climate change, cities will get hotter, leading to more demand for indoor air conditioning, further exacerbating the urban heat island effect. The study suggests alternative measures to cool cities, such as creating more green spaces and better insulating buildings, which could reduce outdoor air temperatures by up to 4.2 degrees Celsius at night.