It's doubtful that anyone travels to Qatar with a winter coat in tow, but global warming has turned the arid nation on the Arabian Peninsula from a sauna into a stove. It's so hot in Qatar that certain outdoor locations are now being air-conditioned. Outdoor malls and markets are some of the main areas benefiting from manufactured cool breezes, and the list is growing.
Notably, Qatar is planning to have eight outdoor soccer stadiums, ranging in capacity from 40,000 to 80,000 seats, cooled off with A/C in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Cool air will be pumped out from grates under the seats, at ankle level, and will drift down to the field, keeping the lower reaches of the stadium cool. The World Cup is scheduled to take place in November 2022, in order to avoid the worst of the heat in the summer months, when daily temperatures regularly top 100°F (38°C), and sometimes climb significantly higher.
Construction in Qatar is almost as nonstop as the heat, adding another human-made cause for temperatures that have been climbing for three decades. According to climate change expert Zeke Hausfather at Berkeley Earth, a nonprofit that analyzes the world's temperatures, the "changes (in Qatar) can help give us a sense of what the rest of the world can expect if we do not take action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."
A brief visit to Qatar:
- Qatar is both the wealthiest and -- in terms of natural disasters -- safest country in the world.
- Only 1 percent of the 2.87 million residents of Qatar live outside of the capital city of Doha.
- Once a part of the Ottoman and British empires, Qatar finally gained its independence in 1971.