Qatar Installs Outdoor Air Conditioning Systems To Cope With Extreme Heat
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While the UK prepares itself for an almighty cold snap, in Qatar things are heating up - so much so that the country has installed outdoor air conditioning systems to ensure people don't boil to death.
The West Asian country, known as the hottest in the world, has witnessed unbelievably high temperatures of 46 degrees Celsius during the summer months.
Knowing that the football World Cup will be heading to the country in 2022, authorities are ensuring they are well-prepared for the international event by introducing open air conditioners in footy stadiums, as well as on the streets and outdoor markets.
And while you might think this is a little premature, keep in mind that the next FIFA World Cup already had to be delayed until the winter months due to the sweltering heat of Qatar's summer months.
Plus, authorities want their cities to be habitable in the years to come, and so giant coolers have been fitted along pavements and in outdoor shopping areas so that people aren't facing searing temperatures while going about their everyday lives.
Further measures were taken in the capital of Doha, where the Public Works Authority has painted the Abdullah Bin Jassim Street blue in a bid to significantly lower the temperature of the asphalt by around 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, the Daily Mail reports.
Although some claim the measures are drastic, many experts are saying it is necessary as climate change takes its grip on countries across the globe.
Yousef al-Horr, founder of the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development, told The Washington Post: "If you turn off air conditioners, it will be unbearable. You cannot function effectively."
The publication noted how the nation has witnessed hotter weather over the past three decades due to climate change.
Zeke Hausfather, a climate data scientist at Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit temperature analysis group, explained: "Qatar is one of the fastest warming areas of the world, at least outside of the Arctic.
"Changes there can help give us a sense of what the rest of the world can expect if we do not take action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."
And while air conditioning might work as a temporary fix to ensure those living in the country can, well, live, some experts predict certain cities will become inhabitable.
"We're talking about four to six degrees Celsius increase in an area that already experiences high temperatures," added Ayoub.
"So, what we're looking at more is a question of how does this impact the health and productivity of the population."