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As mentioned earlier, the outside temperature as influenced by weather patterns influences the rate of heat and energy loss in buildings. These factors in turn affect the heat-loss factor and payback time of wall cavity insulation costs. Geography with regards to the distance between the Northern and Southern parts of the country will also influence the type of weather experienced in a particular region. Hence a sample of average mean temperature (between 1971 and 2000) will be given below for randomly selected northern, central, and southern parts of the United Kingdom to review whether any significant change exist between these regions. The figures and graphs are provided the Met Office of the United Kingdom. The northern region selected comprises the areas of Lerwick and Inverness in Scotland.
It can be seen that both these places experience a relatively cold climate. But Inverness, situated at only four metres average mean sea level (AMSL) slightly hotter when compared to Lerwick situated at eighty two metres AMSL. In Lerwick, the highest average temperature is between five and fifteen degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature recorded is between zero and ten degrees Calculus. In Inverness, the maximum temperatures vary between approximately seven and eighteen degrees Celsius. In both these places, the low maximum temperature indicates that cooling of interiors (through air-conditioning) may not be needed even during peak summer times. But assuming that a family uses heating equipment for temperatures up to ten degrees Celsius, those living in the Northern part of the country may use energy to heat up their dwellings for about seven months in a year (January, February, March, April, October, November, and December).
Similar studies for the central part of the UK are given below. Only one place, namely Durham is selected since there are no significant differences in altitude in these regions.
It can be seen that central parts of the country is comparatively hotter when compared to its northern parts. In Durham, the minimum temperatures vary between zero and eleven degrees Celsius while the maximum temperatures vary between sic and twenty degrees Celsius. According the figures, energy needed for heating is roughly equivalent to what is seen in the northern part of the country. But since the maximum temperature of twenty degrees last of approximately one month (between July and August) the period may need cooling through air-conditioning.
In the southern most tip of the country, two areas namely St. Mawgan (103 metres AMSL) and Yeovilton (20 metres AMSL) are included.
In the case of the former place, the maximum temperatures vary between nine and twenty degrees Celsius while the minimum temperatures vary between four and fourteen degrees Celsius. In the case of Yeovilton, the figures vary between eight and twenty two degrees for maximum temperature and two and twelve degrees for minimum temperature. Here again the figures indicate that energy is needed for heating rather than for cooling.
The figures for Heathrow (twenty five metres AMSL) in London are also given here due to its proximity to a large city.
The maximum temperatures range form around eight degrees to twenty four degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperatures range between two to fourteen degrees. The
Nowhere does the maximum temperature exceed twenty four degrees for the whole country. On the whole it can be said that families in the UK would be happier to have heating equipment rather than air-conditioners since temperatures are not tropical in nature.
The above mentioned average figures are related to the past thirty five to forty years. But emissions and the resulting pollution in the atmosphere have resulted in worldwide concerns that a relatively drastic change (towards increased heating of the atmosphere) will take place in the future. Some charts and maps are given below to indicate estimated changes in climate if the current scenario of industrial, environmental, and domestic pollution and waste continues. The figures are based on a massive worldwide experiment conducted by the BBC. "Thousands of you took part in the world's largest climate modelling experiment. Each person downloaded a computer model that used spare processing power to predict future climate. Scientists at Oxford University eagerly waited for the results from each person's computer. As the data arrived, the Oxford team compiled the most comprehensive prediction yet for the Earth's climate up to 2080" http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/climateexperiment/theexperiment/abouttheexperiment.shtml
Ten years from the present, the UK will experience a moderate increase in average temperature or zero to two degrees Celsius. This is similar to many regions across the world primarily in Asia and Southern Europe. The worst affected will be Northern Europe, North America and parts of South America. Interestingly, two of the fastest growing economies in the world figure in the low climate change list. It should also be noted that no region in the world is expected to experience a fall in temperatures during this period.
The period from 2020 to 2050 shows a grimmer picture across the world including the UK. The country can expect an increase of two to four percent. But the alarming fact the is that the North Pole along with parts of the Amazon rain forest could see its climate change in the region of above ten degrees Celsius. In any case, the UK fares better when compared to many regions of Europe and North America. The period after 2050 is beyond the scope of this study.
On the whole, the figures shown above indicate that the UK will be dependent on heating of dwellings rather than on air-conditioning. An increase of a maximum of four percent across the next forty years will bring the maximum temperature in the country to nearly thirty percent (in Heathrow) and the minimum temperature to around fourteen degrees Celsius. While this may entail a marginal increase in air-conditioning (cooling) costs, the figures still show that this particular study should concentrate of the effects of heat loss and its payback period rather than on cooling of dwellings in the United Kingdom.