US braces for second day of scorching weekend temperatures

Americans braced for a second—and equally scorching—day of dangerously hot weather Sunday, with daytime temperatures forecast to approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) across a number of major US cities.

Islands in the sun: Heatwave gives cities that sinking feeling

Boffins call it a heat sink—a passive exchanger designed to dissipate heat—but when the sink is an actual city, its concrete and asphalt sweltering in the heat, it feels more like an oven to those who live and work there.

Crowd oil—fuels from air-conditioning systems

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Toronto have proposed a method enabling air conditioning and ventilation systems to produce synthetic fuels from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water ...

Flying cars: Automating the skies means playing with our lives

Recent research suggests that flying cars could eventually be a sustainable way to free up roads. The first models are set to hit our skies in 2019 as personal playthings, while industry sees them as taxis and commuter vehicles ...

Why the 'perfect' office temperature is a myth

It might be blisteringly hot outside, but if you work in an office building, the chances are it's always reassuringly cool (or cold, depending on your preference) once you walk inside.

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Air conditioning

Air conditioning refers to the cooling and dehumidification of indoor air for thermal comfort. In a broader sense, the term can refer to any form of cooling, heating, ventilation or disinfection that modifies the condition of air. An air conditioner (often referred to as AC or air con.) is an appliance, system, or mechanism designed to stabilise the air temperature and humidity within an area (used for cooling as well as heating depending on the air properties at a given time), typically using a refrigeration cycle but sometimes using evaporation, most commonly for comfort cooling in most buildings and motor-cars.

The concept of air conditioning is known to have been applied in Ancient Rome, where aqueduct water was circulated through the walls of certain houses to cool them. Similar techniques in medieval Persia involved the use of cisterns and wind towers to cool buildings during the hot season. Modern air conditioning emerged from advances in chemistry during the 19th century, and the first large-scale electrical air conditioning was invented and used in 1902 by Willis Haviland Carrier.

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