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Audubon Florida
Aerial view of a hurricane
Audubon Florida Climate and Energy News Roundup
Today we share news about a novel approach to air conditioning, why we should pay more attention to heat waves, improvements in Florida building laws since Hurricane Andrew, and more.
A hurricane viewed from space. Photo: Pixabay
Electric Vehicles are Coming Fast and Furious. Here's How the New Models Stack Up
From ABC News

“Buying an electric vehicle for the first time may be harder than ever these days. The choices are no longer Tesla, Tesla, Tesla. There are pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, sedans, sports cars and hatches available from nearly every automaker. Seventy-two models (battery, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell) are currently on the market with more launching later this year and next. Washington lawmakers threw another wrench into the EV equation with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Consumers are now wondering if that EV they've been eyeing still qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit. The Department of Transportation on Tuesday launched a site to help confused consumers navigate the new restrictions on EV tax credits.”
AC Has Been a Climate Scourge. Could it Become a Climate Solution?
From Anthropocene Magazine

“Wildfires grab the headlines but extreme heat that claims the most lives—over 350,000 worldwide in 2019. As the planet warms and dangerous heat waves become common, air conditioning will shift from being a rich world luxury to a global humanitarian need. Air conditioners have long been energy hogs, contributors to urban heat islands, and sources of greenhouse gases: a toxic feedback loop that tarred them as climate villains. But in a world where whole populations need artificial cooling to thrive, can new AC technologies actually help our climate targets?”
What if We Ranked Heat Waves Like Hurricanes?
From Yale Climate Connections

“When meteorologists report that a Category 4 hurricane is on the way, people know it’s dangerous and they need to prepare. A new bill could make California the first state in the nation to categorize heat waves in a similar way. The proposed legislation is based on a recommendation from the California Climate Insurance Working Group, which was convened by State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.”
30 Years After Hurricane Andrew: How Resilient is South Florida?
From Sun-Sentinel

“If Andrew did the region any favors, it exposed flaws in local building codes, shoddy construction on a large scale, the pitfalls of relying on an economy focused on tourism and real estate, and deficits in storm preparation and recovery. How resilient is South Florida now? Interviews this week with businessmen, economists, forecasters and other experts show substantial improvements over the last three decades. Many agree that another storm of Andrew’s magnitude is likely to be mitigated by preventive measures taken over the years, though South Florida’s growing status as a preferred place for out-of-staters to relocate has raised uncertainties about the extent of damages another massive storm could cause.”
3 Downpours in 8 Days: How Extreme Rain Soaked the Midwest
From the New York Times

“Three separate downpours across three states over a span of eight days this summer swept away homes, destroyed crops and left at least 39 people dead. The intense rainfall, in Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois, broke century-old records and destroyed swaths of communities, prompting warnings from climate experts, who said the intensity and frequency of heavy rain was likely to increase as Earth continued to warm.”
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