The impact of the projected changes in temperature on heating and cooling requirements in buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh

2012-04-20T12:06:12Z (GMT) by Monjur Mourshed
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is a fast growing megacity with a population of 12.8 million. Due to its tropical location, dense urban morphology and higher than average density of population, buildings in Dhaka are likely to be adversely affected by the projected changes in climate, in particular by the increases in temperature. Buildings play a vital role in most aspects of our lives and their energy consumption patterns affect climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. It is important to understand the likely impact of the projected increases in temperature on cooling and heating requirements in buildings in future climates. In this research, global projections on changes in temperature are temporally downscaled using a statistically averaged baseline present-day hourly weather data to generate future weather data in three timeslices: 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. Time series data for the present-day and future climates are analyzed as well as heating and cooling degree-days are calculated. Analysis shows that heating degree-days decrease whereas cooling degree-days continue to increase in future climates. The magnitude of change in monthly cooling degree-days is uneven and is greater in winter months than in summer and monsoon. Increased occurrences of temperatures above comfort threshold throughout the year are likely to have significant consequences for human health and wellbeing. The severity and duration of outdoor temperatures in the form of increased cooling degree-days in future climates will result in a surge in demand for energy for comfort cooling, which will add further stress to the already stressed energy infrastructure in the country. Prompt actions from stakeholders are, therefore, essential to enhance the resilience of Dhaka’s buildings to climate change.