Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cause and Effect.

This summer Europe and the US have something in common – the heat. It was 36° C (96.8°F) in the shade in Paris yesterday. The same cause – a heatwave – also produces the same effects. Both continents face problem with
  • power, even in Europe, the increased demand for air-conditioning (which is not that common but is becoming increasingly so) could make summer a greater challenge than winter for electricity suppliers. In fact, France and Spain have been forced to cut output because the river water normally used to cool reactors is too warm. (NYTimes) and in California, 1.5 million people have lost electricity at one point or another (AP)
  • people are even dying - at least 56 heat-related deaths in California and 40 in France .
  • and bad crops (the Midwest, the Netherlands, Germany and France - and thousand of dairy cows have also died in California)
But overall, it seems much worse and much more unusual in Europe than in the U.S. Right now, it is raining in Chicago and there seems to be some relief in sight. T-storms are supposed to bring some cooler air tonight throughout Europe.

If similar situations are repeated some life-style changes will have to be made in Europe. Imagine right now, the London underground system, the oldest in the world, had a record temperature of 47 °C (116°F) and the buses (which are not air-conditioned) were even worse with temperatures reaching 52°C (125.6°F).

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