Climate > Future Scenarios Tool User Cases > Case 6

Future Scenarios Tool User Case 6

Photo of a power plant

Photo by National Park Service

How might the requirements for air conditioning change in the future and what are the implications for energy use?

Energy demand for air conditioning during the warm season can be large. Cooling Degree Days (CDDs) are an estimate of the requirements for air conditioning. CDDs are calculated by subtracting a base temperature of 65░F from the daily mean temperature and summing the daily differences.áTo see how the energy demand for air conditioning may change in the future, please see the example below.

To see how the energy demand for air conditioning may change in the future at Pontiac first click on “Tourism”, “Temperature”, “Median Number of Cooling Degree Days (Base 65°F)”. (See Screenshot 1 below)

Screenshot 1
screenshot of the Future Scenarios Tool's input page


Now click on “View Result”.  The graph that is displayed shows the year-to-year variability in cooling requirements for 1981-2000 (Screenshot 2). The median value for the reference climate is 493 CDDs. 

Screenshot 2
screenshot of the Future Scenarios Tool's result page


The trend plot (Screenshot 3) suggests that energy demand will increase during the 21st century. During the early portions of the century, the increase in the median value of CDDs is relatively modest, but by the end of the century the cooling requirements are projected to be almost twice the what they are currently.  The average projected change for the end of the century is approximately 450 CDDs.  When added to the present-day median value of 493 CDDs, the requirements for cooling will be close to twice that at present.

Screenshot 3
screenshot of the Future Scenarios Tool's result page