Faced with extreme temperatures, Qatar is air conditioning its streets

Temperatures are reaching such extreme levels in the country that authorities are beginning to air-condition stadiums, markets, and even... pavements. By 2030, the temperature in Doha is expected to rise by another 4-6 degrees.

In Qatar, one of the hottest countries in the world where summer temperatures can easily reach 46°C, more and more public facilities are being equipped with outdoor air conditioning systems

4 to 6 degrees more by 2030

This extremely rich state in the Arabian Peninsula is very heavily affected by heatwaves, and according to an IPCC report issued at the end of the summer, the forecasts for a global increase of 7 degrees by the end of the century are even more alarming for Qatar.

As the Washington Post, which has investigated the subject at length, points out, in the event of a global warming of 2 degrees, the geographical area corresponding to the Arabian Peninsula could increase by 4 to 6 degrees by 2030. This is a situation that has pushed Qatar to take very specific measures.

Air-conditioned stadiums for the 2022 World Cup

For example, in preparation for the World Cup in 2022, the country has already started to air-condition its football stadiums. Thus, the 40,000 spectators at the Al-Janoub stadium, which will host the competition, can enjoy a pleasant breath of fresh air continuously diffused at the level of their feet, the Washington Post writes.

And to cope with increasingly high temperatures, Qatar isn’t only air-conditioning its football stadiums: fresh air is now being diffused in the markets as well, along the pavements, and in open-air shopping centres, the American daily reports.

An insurmountable vicious cycle

The problem then seems obvious: this is a vicious cycle. Air conditioners (which are becoming indispensable) generate carbon emissions, which are themselves responsible for global warming.

Qatar, the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases according to the World Bank, spends no less than 60% of its electricity on air conditioning. Consumption is expected to almost double by 2030 compared with 2016, according to some scientists.

In the Middle East, authorities are increasingly afraid that the combination of heat and humidity will reach such a level that one day outdoor life will no longer be tolerable.

In such conditions, air conditioning would no longer be a mere commodity, but an essential element for survival. Understandably, the Arabian Peninsula is facing a much thornier problem here than one might think.

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