Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cold cities less sustainable than warm cities, research suggests

Date:
March 28, 2013
Source:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Summary:
Living in colder climates in the US is more energy demanding than living in warmer climates. Scientists have calculated that climate control in the coldest large metropolitan area in the country – Minneapolis – is about three-and-a-half times more energy demanding than in the warmest large metropolitan area – Miami.

Living in colder climates in the US is more energy demanding than living in warmer climates. This is according to Dr Michael Sivak at the University of Michigan, who has published new research today, 28 March, in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters.

Related Articles


Dr Sivak has calculated that climate control in the coldest large metropolitan area in the country -- Minneapolis -- is about three-and-a-half times more energy demanding than in the warmest large metropolitan area -- Miami.

Dr Sivak calculated this difference in energy demand using three parameters: the number of heating or cooling degree days in each area; the efficiencies of heating and cooling appliances; and the efficiencies of power-generating plants.

Not included in the analysis were the energy used to extract fuels from the ground, the losses during energy transmission, and energy costs.

"It has been taken for a fact that living in the warm regions of the US is less sustainable than living in the cold regions, based partly on the perceived energy needs for climate control; however, the present findings suggest a re-examination of the relative sustainability of living in warm versus cold climates."

Heating degree days (HDDs) and cooling degree days (CDDs) are climatological measures that are designed to reflect the demand for energy needed to heat or cool a building. They are calculated by comparing the mean daily outdoor temperature with 18C.

A day with a mean temperature of 10C would have 8 HDDs and no CDDs, as the temperature is 8C below 18C. Analogously, a day with a mean temperature of 23C would have 5 CDDs and no HDDs.

Based on a previous study, Dr Sivak showed that Minneapolis has 4376 heating degree days a year compared to 2423 cooling degree days in Miami.

In the study, Dr Sivak used a single measure for the efficiency of heating and cooling appliances, as most are currently rated using different measures so they cannot be directly compared. His calculations showed that a typical air conditioner is about four times more energy efficient than a typical furnace.

"In simple terms, it takes less energy to cool a room down by one degree than it does to heat it up by one degree," said Dr Sivak.

Grouping together climatology, the efficiency of heating and cooling appliances, and the efficiency of power-generating plants, Dr Sivak showed that Minneapolis was substantially more energy demanding than Miami.

"In the US, the energy consumption for air conditioning is of general concern but the required energy to heat is often taken for granted. Focus should also be turned to the opposite end of the scale -- living in cold climates such as in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Rochester, Buffalo and Chicago is more energy demanding, and therefore less sustainable from this point of view, than living in warm climates such as in Miami, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando and Las Vegas," Dr Sivak concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics (IOP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Sivak. Air conditioning versus heating: climate control is more energy demanding in Minneapolis than in Miami. Environmental Research Letters, 2013; 8 (1): 014050 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014050

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics (IOP). "Cold cities less sustainable than warm cities, research suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075710.htm>.
Institute of Physics (IOP). (2013, March 28). Cold cities less sustainable than warm cities, research suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075710.htm
Institute of Physics (IOP). "Cold cities less sustainable than warm cities, research suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075710.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Hawaii Lava Approaching Village Road

Raw: Hawaii Lava Approaching Village Road

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii was 225 yards from Pahoa Village Road on Wednesday night. The lava is slowing down but still approaching the village. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Carpathian Ponies Are Making a Comeback in Poland

Endangered Carpathian Ponies Are Making a Comeback in Poland

AFP (Oct. 29, 2014) At the foot of the rugged Carpathian mountains near the Polish-Ukrainian border, ranchers and scientists are trying to protect the Carpathian pony, known as the Hucul in Polish. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins