European climate change: Droughts and bad wi-fi
As the climate changes and parts of the Earth get hotter, drier summers, while others flood, what really worries me is how this heat will affect my wireless internet connection.
Death, destruction, crop failures, horrible diseases and sinking islands will not matter if I can’t get a good wi-fi signal. This is the spin given in a piece for the Telegraph regarding a recent speech by UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman:
She warned of intense rainfall, droughts and heatwaves in the next 50 to 100 years because of man-made global warming. The signal from wi-fi cannot travel as far when temperatures increase. Heavy downfalls of rain also affect the ability of the device to capture a signal.
Of course she’s talking about the need for investment in renewable energy and improved power infrastructure among other things. The wi-fi thing is just to get the kids interested, I guess.
Spelman’s speech coincides with a new report released by the IPCC claiming that renewables, notably solar power, could provide nearly 80% of the world’s energy needs. This would require an investment of just 1% of global GDP. Still, that’s not chump change.
From the Guardian:
The investment that will be needed to meet the greenhouse gas emissions targets demanded by scientists is likely to amount to about $5trn in the next decade, rising to $7trn from 2021 to 2030.
Above all, the report stresses the role of government policy in renewable energy growth and climate change mitigation.
Read more on the BBC.
At the same time data from satellites is showing a drying, heating up Europe. April was a particularly dry time for the UK and the warmest April on record.
From another BBC report:
It was also the 11th driest month, with on average just half the usual rainfall. And in parts of south-east England, there was less than 10% of normal precipitation.
This is of course bad news for farmers, probably even more so than wi-fi users.