In DepthClimate Change

Slow coolant phaseout could worsen warming

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1084
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6380.1084

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

In the summer of 2016, temperatures in Phalodi, an old caravan town on a dry plain in northwestern India, reached a blistering 51°C—a record high during a heat wave that claimed more than 1600 lives across the country. Wider access to air conditioning (AC) could have prevented many deaths—but only 8% of India's 249 million households have AC. As the nation's economy booms, that figure could rise to 50% by 2050. And that presents a dilemma: As India expands access to a life-saving technology, it must comply with international mandates—the most recent imposed just last fall—to eliminate coolants that harm stratospheric ozone or warm the atmosphere.