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Public: City: Climate
Up all night in the tropics   (+2, -4)  [vote for, against]
Traditional timezones are a bad fit for the tropics

It's Friday the 23rd October and the residents of the steaming-hot city of Luala Kumpur are preparing to enter a new age; the age of darkness. Workers will make their way home at about 6pm for the last time ever. From henceforth, their day will end at around 6am.

The forward-looking government finally realised that the day is characterised by extreme heat, frequent tropical storms, and changes in pressure so fast that it causes headaches and fatigue across the tropical city. The night, on the other hand, is cooler and of a more settled climate. At night, it is actually possible to work without expensive air conditioning systems and heavily tinted windows. It is even possible to walk around outside, as one does in a cooler climate. People are able to use their feet rather than their cars for small journeys at night because it is cool enough.

So, following this weekend of adjustment, noon will be in the middle of the night, and midnight when the sun is hottest. Schools and offices will open at what is 8pm to everyone else, people will go home at around 6am, and sleep through the sweltering heat of the day.

Disclosure: This idea is sponsored by Thomas Edison
-- vincevincevince, Oct 12 2009

Google Maps Hack: London with sea-levels +14m http://flood.firetr...58,-0.1236&z=6&m=14
14 meters seems to be quite a lot. [zen_tom, Oct 12 2009]

This idea would spark a massive vampire emigration to the tropics.
-- DrWorm, Oct 12 2009

[21Q], not all tropics are affluent parts of the Americas. Many are impoverished third world countries where most people have neither means nor resources to make their way to a cooler country. They are there because that is where they were born, and they have been awake during the day all these years because that is how things have always been done. Thus this idea; to transform life for a whole city, and give people the chance to experience their city during its most hospitable state - the night.
-- vincevincevince, Oct 12 2009

[UB] thanks for your note! Needless to say I am in the tropics as I write this, and have been here for a number of years. Based upon preliminary testing, this idea would work - temperatures are indeed somewhat lower during the night. Once you are asleep, air-conditioning is not required as much as when you are awake; I usually set time for a half hour run to chill things down enough to drop off and rely on a ceiling fan the rest of the night.

Don't forget that during the daylight hours, if you sleep, you do not need to open doors at all, and you can blackout your windows. Both mean much lower air conditioning load than having a bright room with sunlight streaming in and people going in and out the door all day.
-- vincevincevince, Oct 12 2009

[v³] I've lived in the tropics too (well nearly) and sleeping without air-conditioning was tough at night-time, I dread to think what it might be like during the heat of the day - having said that, sometimes, if it really is too hot, all you can do is lie down somewhere in the shade and pass out - it's something the Spanish have managed for a few thousand years, are you suggesting exporting the siesta?
-- zen_tom, Oct 12 2009

I wonder two things; 1) Why so many H/B members have lived in the tropics (does the weather there halfbake the brain?) 2) whether different parts of the tropics have different climates to the extent that what would work here (KL) may not work in other places.
-- vincevincevince, Oct 12 2009

Yes, lovely warm weather is great, but without some proper seasons to provide some variation, it gets a bit tiresome after a while. I'd like to try living somewhere hot, but without too much humidity - which can feel oppressive sometimes. Sicily might be nice, and I've heard good things about California.
-- zen_tom, Oct 12 2009

Not a bad strategy, until sea-levels rise, at which point, Hampstead Heath will become one of the most densely populated islands in the world.
-- zen_tom, Oct 12 2009

It is currently a pleasant 26C at 10pm here in Kuala Lumpur; if I were to venture outside I could do so without breaking into a sweat or having to look for shade. As a matter of fact, I am now settling down to get some work done in the cool of the evening :)
-- vincevincevince, Oct 12 2009

The night before last was the coldest on record here since 1979. Next spring I'll have to replace all of the spray handles and hoses.
It is supposed to reach 9 degrees later today but right now we're sitting at a balmy -10.

<fondly recalls eight whole days spent in the tropics>

-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 12 2009

I am all for it, and I consider myself somewhat of an expert on tropical matters since I enjoy Tropicana products, and frequently apply Hawaiian Tropic balms and ointments which are scented with that product of the tropics, the coconut.
-- bungston, Oct 12 2009

vvv, I have several comments; 1) Must I get my hair cut in a mullet to live there? 2)Have you seen the idea by [futurebird] for a night shift building? That would be very cool somewhere amid your idea, I think.3) I love the title.
-- blissmiss, Oct 12 2009

Nope, celsius here.
Everything is frozen solid.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 12 2009


[zen tom], I am prepared to pay good money to learn how you achieved that superscriptivity. Well, OK, I'm not. But I'm still intriguated.

VVV - I am, by bizarre coincidence, just back from KL. I do think that, over the centuries, the local people would have adopted this sort of idea if it worked. The fact is, humans are not nocturnal. Artificial lighting isn't really suitable in the long run.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 12 2009

I thought there were night markets in urban tropical areas: eg Singapore.
-- bungston, Oct 12 2009

Not yet but soon.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 14 2009

//I am prepared to pay good money// Max - I am maintaining a bestiary of available glyphs on my profile page - whenever something tricky takes my fancy, I go there, peruse for something I like the look of, and do the Ctrl-C/V thing - do I win £5? (There was an idea that sparked it all off, but I can't remember what it was called)
-- zen_tom, Oct 15 2009

Use ª and then Let a = 3
-- Ling, Oct 15 2009

random, halfbakery