Qatar beats U.S. for 2022 World Cup bid, promising to equip multiple stadiums “with a high-tech, outdoor air conditioning system to combat summer temperatures that can reach 120 degrees during the day.”

"Al-Shamal Stadium"

A computerized image of … one of three stadiums that Qatar will build before hosting the 2022 World Cup.

And all this time you were worried that global warming would increasingly pose a problem for sports (see “Is that airlifted snow on your Olympic ski mountain, or is your enormous helicopter just happy to see me?“)

You should have been paying more attention to the high-end adaptation crowd (see “Adaptation “” or climate crime? Versace “to create the world’s first refrigerated beach so that hotel guests can walk comfortably across the sand on scorching days.”)

When it comes to conspicuous consumption adaptation, though, Versace has nothing on Qatar, as the Wall Street Journal reports:

In selecting Qatar, the tiny emirate in the heart of the Middle East, FIFA chose to bring the World Cup to a Muslim nation for the first time. A desire to make history, and the opportunity to partner with the natural gas fortune of the Qatari royal family, ultimately proved irresistible to FIFA.

Qatar has promised to spend $4 billion to build nine stadiums, renovate three others and equip all of them with a high-tech, outdoor air conditioning system to combat summer temperatures that can reach 120 degrees during the day. The country has vowed to spend another $50 billion on infrastructure ahead of the tournament.

My hat is off to the adaptation crowd in Qatar.  A tough loss for us, though as the Wall Street Journal reports,”The decision comes as a particular blow to the hopes of the U.S. delegation, whose bid for the 2022 event had long been considered the favorite.”

American exceptionalism takes another blow.  A sweet $54 billion on infrastructure by Qatar whereas we can’t even extend unemployment insurance!

Isn’t it sweet that FIFA wants a bromance with the natural gas-rich Qatari royal family.  On the bright side, at least that air-conditioning won’t be powered by coal.

UPDATE: reports:

… the Persian Gulf country, which is currently the world’s biggest producer of liquified natural gas, will use solar technology at all five stadiums slated to host World Cup games “” and also at fan zones and training facilities throughout the country.

Can’t quite bring myself to call this sustainable, though, and the computerized image above in particular makes little sense — why not just enclose the entire stadium?  What do you think?

44 Responses to Qatar beats U.S. for 2022 World Cup bid, promising to equip multiple stadiums “with a high-tech, outdoor air conditioning system to combat summer temperatures that can reach 120 degrees during the day.”

  1. Prokaryotes says:

    Ugh, 2022 how will the weather be then?

  2. fj3 says:

    Yes, back at home we are not doing so bad either

    College for Rich People Getting Richer & Jeff Sachs on America’s Economic Crisis

  3. Roger Wehage says:

    Let them have their day in the sun. It won’t be long they’ll be back to riding camels.

  4. Ben Lieberman says:

    Beyond satire.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    I don’t see any way to air condition the field of play, as shown in the rendering. It’s one thing to have indoor skiing in Dubai- something shown with admiration by the now corrupt 60 Minutes crew- and quite another to attempt to cool a few acres of completely open space. My guess is they’ll try to do it with huge overhead fans and evaporative coolers, pissing away vast amounts of energy in order to show off to the world.

    Lots of people get dazzled by that oil wealth, here and everywhere else. Having spent time in petro states like Venezuela and Texas, you learn that the oil is controlled by people whose main qualities are ruthlessness and greed. Qatar engineers won’t be designing those stadia.

    When the people of Qatar go back to riding camels and relearning desert survival, at least there will be some skill involved. Texans will be reduced to shooting rattlesnakes and jackrabbits.

  6. tom says:

    This is one sports event that will never happen.

  7. Paulm says:

    It’s going to be close, Tom.

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    Climate, energy and the Olympics’ future’-future/

    Roger Wehage says “Let them have their day in the sun. It won’t be long they’ll be back to riding camels.”

    I doubt there will be camels to ride on, let alone the chance to sustain a ride during i.e. a killer heatwave and corresponding energy outages etc.

    “How hot is it? Masters reports nine countries have smashed all-time temperature records, “making 2010 the year with the most national extreme heat records.”

    In the summer of 2022 it may be more about living in shelters or holes and caves again to survive life threatening conditions.

  9. The Bobs says:

    “.. why not just enclose the entire stadium?”

    I believe that World Cup rules require natural grass fields. Perhaps that is why.

  10. Bill W. says:

    Let’s use that high-tech outdoor air conditioning to combat global warming! We’ll just air condition the whole planet! Oh, wait. We’ll never get Congress to agree on repealing the laws of thermodynamics.

    What an absurd waste of energy! What a monument to excessive consumption!

  11. Lorien says:

    wow it really is business as “usual” (read excessive consumption) in so many people’s worldview. That boggles my mind. Who will care about world cup in 2022? More like world war.

  12. Jonah says:

    Outdoor air conditioning, wow… talk about the winner’s curse! Why not just put a million space heaters inside a million refrigerators and let them battle it out? Oh, the pagentry!

  13. Steve O says:

    @Prokaryotes at #9 above

    Not 9 countries: 19!

    For contrast, no countries–zero–set new cold records in 2010.

  14. Rice Dog says:

    No Problem. As we all know, most of the greatest minds and revolutionary inventions come from Muslim countries. Very open minded people.

  15. Colorado Bob says:

    ” We’ve Never Seen this Before ” –

    So last night it was bone chilling cold in Poland, deep ass snow is piling – up in Colorado. 4 below 0F in Stockholm .

    BUT ……. from the west coast of Baffin Bay , Canada, all the way to the north tip of Norway at North Lat. 70.70 it was in the 30’s, and raining. This thing was in Alaska the other day. It rained from the mouth of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to the Dead Horse Airport, for several days.

    This is an observed event on the 1st of Dec. 2010. And we’ve never seen this before, not like this . This is strange.

  16. Prokaryotes says:

    Steve O, there seem to be a few cold records with the cold in recent days.
    The MSM misses to point out that the high precipitation events (snow) and arctic air intrusion NAO anomaly, are both evidence for climate change.

  17. Colorado Bob says:

    I try to pay attention to just the observed events. The things that say the theory is correct. The proofs as it were. 2 years ago in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, the fruit bats were dropping dead, out of the trees from the 117 F degree heat, and drought had Australia by the throat. “Black Saturday” came the next day.
    Now Australia has just recorded it’s wettest spring on record, and not just by a few millimeters. But not Perth, they just recorded the driest spring on record.

    There is a theory of change that says as we near the jump into the new system , the existing one moves to the extremes, and it tends to stay there before it jumps back. I think the barrel goes over the falls a lot sooner than any of us ever dreamed.

  18. Dan says:

    Outdoor air conditioners are the new water (or hydrogen) powered cars. Simply there as fantasies for people who don’t know the first thing about science, like the Wall Street Journal.

    Don’t get me started on air capture for carbon.

  19. Richard Brenne says:

    What we have is a war-like, misogynistic state that commits public executions and just had the geographic accident of having oil and gas under their feet that has given them money and thus power disproportionate to their current intellectual and cultural development.

    But that’s enough about Texas, let’s talk about Qatar. Qatar is a nation of 1.5 million people (22,000 people a century ago) that gets 2.7 inches of rain a year, has average highs of 115 F in July and 111 in August, they have the biggest carbon footprint on the planet, double that of even Kuwait, they consume a record 400 liters of water per capita per day, their “sponsorship” laws are really slavery, they have no sports or other international excellence in anything unrelated to oil and gas or spending from those, and they don’t even have a “u” after their “Q.”

    Other than that, a great choice, FIFA. Now when football players fake injuries on every play they’ll bounce up from the sizzling turf.

    This summer it was 128 in Pakistan, 126 in Kuwait and 125 in Iraq and neighboring Saudi Arabia, where 8 power plants shut down due to a combination of overuse and windstorms, meaning that people were often without power for AC.

    By 2022 similar or even hotter temperatures could be seen in Qatar, with power outages and war possible. On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.

  20. Hi Joe, have you seen this new BBC video on rapid permafrost melt and methane outgassing?


  21. Tom Bennion says:

    I wonder about risk management at these stadiums. Do they design for a failure of their system with the temperatures in the late 40s to early 50 degrees celsius, and how do you get large numbers of people out in those circumstances?

  22. Prokaryotes says:

    “… they have the biggest carbon footprint on the planet”


    Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years on the back of high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar’s nonassociated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP, roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues.

    Oil and gas have made Qatar the second highest per-capita income country – following Liechtenstein – and one of the world’s fastest growing. Proved oil reserves of 15 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 37 years. Qatar’s proved reserves of natural gas are nearly 26 trillion cubic meters, about 14% of the world total and third largest in the world.

  23. Prokaryotes says:

    Qatar’s national income primarily derives from oil and natural gas exports. The country has oil reserves of 15 billion barrels (2.4 km³), while gas reserves in the giant North Field (South Pars for Iran) which straddles the border with Iran and are almost as large as the peninsula itself are estimated to be between 80 trillion cubic feet (2,300 km3) to 800 trillion cubic feet (23,000 km3) (1 trillion cubic feet is equivalent to about 80 million barrels (13,000,000 m3) of oil). Qatar is sometimes referred to as the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Qataris’ wealth and standard of living compare well with those of Western European states; Qatar has the highest GDP per capita in the Arab World according to the International Monetary Fund (2006)[18] and the second highest GDP per capita in the world according to the CIA World Factbook.[9] With no income tax, Qatar, along with Bahrain, is one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in the world.

    Qatar has the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions, at 55.5 metric tons per person in 2005.[21] This is almost double the next highest per-capita emitting country, which is Kuwait at 30.7 metric tons (2005) and they are three times those of the United States. Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for the past 18 years. These emissions are largely due to high rates of energy use in Qatar. Major uses of energy in Qatar include air conditioning, natural gas processing, water desalination and electricity production. Between 1995 and 2011 the electricity generating capacity of Qatar will have increased to six times the previous level. The fact that Qataris do not have to pay for either their water or electricity supplies is thought to contribute to their high rate of energy use. Despite being a desert state they are also one of the highest consumers of water per capita per day, using around 400 litres

    This is so sickening, at least they will be one of those nations which vanish first due to climate disruption. I even won’t mind if someone occupies them – if they do it to stop the fossil emission time bomb.

  24. peter whitehead says:

    Here in England it’s the 2018 choice of Russia that’s all over the media. The insanity of the Qatar choice has only had a few comments. Football is a winter game – here, where it was invented, the summer game is cricket.

    Colorado Bob – thanks for your pointer to the borthern rain. Here in the English Midlands (or Mercia as some of us like to call it) I got -8degC on my garden thermom this morning. Our Met Office forecast shows this could last all month – not as low but cold. May have longest spell of snow on ground in nearly 50 years.

  25. Greg says:

    Just a heads up but, Joe you need to do a post on this

    Joe Bastardi – has accused the NSIDC of “cooking the ice books”, he presents “evidence” comparing what he thinks is 2007 in other plots to the 2010 line, and points out that the NSIDCs comparision is somehow wrong, expect in other plots he’s actually comparing the 2006 line to 2010 … and wants someone to “explain it to him”!

    If anyone has Joes email address…

  26. Greg says:

    It gets even better, he then goes on to compare the southern NSIDC plot to the cryosphere plot – two different sets of data with their own fluctuations and uncertainties AND with the NSIDC having an average line based on the 1979-2008 years while the cryosphere average is 1979-2000!

    the guy’s mind is so warped (as is a denier’s mind) toward looking for confirming evidence of his beliefs as to be completely oblivious to what he’s actually seeing … almost like a psychological illness such as anorexia were a person looks in the mirror and still sees themselves as overweight no matter what they see…

  27. Roger Wehage says:

    World-destroying oil and natural gas will not stop flowing, oil from tar sands and shale will not stop being extracted, and dirty coal will not stop being mined from the ground until it has become prohibitively too expensive to do so or until mankind has exterminated itself.

  28. Esop says:

    #27 (Greg):
    Bastardi is furious since his 2010 forecast of cooling failed miserably. His forecast for 2012 is again severe cooling. If he didn’t prove that he was a complete clown this year, 2012 certainly will.
    He is all over the cold temps in parts of Europe, but conveniently skips the extreme warmth and rain north of the Arctic circle.
    However, it is the global average temp that matters, and it is once again going straight up. This is what is fueling a lot of desperation in the anti science crowd; their very UAH own dataset has turned against them, no matter how many times the denial high priest tweaks the data, the anomalies are still way up.

  29. Max Boykoff says:

    Thanks Joe. I’m glad you picked up on this as it relates to climate change.
    Calling in adaptation success is certainly an optimistic view…they’re going to actively air condition the outdoors with energy from natural gas? chalk one up for a changing climate.
    cheers, max

    [JR: Well, they say they’ll use solar, but you can be quite certain that they massive infrastructure buildup will be powered by natural gas.]

  30. Chris Winter says:

    Air-condition the out-of-doors? Quite a technical challenge. But it’s either that, or build an enclosure sufficiently large to permit indoor falconry. ;-)

  31. Prokaryotes says:

    The temperature touched 43 degrees Celsius yesterday, according to the Meteorology Department and is expected to rise up to 45 degrees Celsius today.

    The thermometer inside cars, however, recorded temperatures of up to 46 degrees Celsius at high noon yesterday. The country normally witnesses such high temperatures from the middle of June.

    The bus shelters set up by Mowasalat in collaboration with a private media company are not good enough to provide protection from the heat and sun, feel several affected passengers.

    Many old as well as newly developed areas in the city do not even have these non-air conditioned shelters, making life miserable for the hundreds, for whom public buses are the only affordable means of transportation in the city.

    Mowasalat, the state-backed company that operates the Karwa taxis and buses had announced plans to put up air-conditioned bus shelters. The project has not yet seen the light of day despite one air-conditioned shelter set up on a trial basis in Lusail last year.

    The Peninsula has learnt that the facility in Lusail is not operational now in the absence of power supply in the locality, and the entire project has been put on hold awaiting approval from higher authorities.

    A regular bus passenger, seeking anonymity, told this newspaper yesterday that he had been suffering a lot with an early and unusual rise in temperature levels. “Normally, I have to wait for 20 minutes to half an hour to board a bus in most parts of the city. The wait could be longer during peak hours, especially at noon. There are no bus shelters in many parts of the city and the existing shelters are not suitable for the hot weather,” he lamented.

    Waiting for so long in the hot sun and then boarding an air-conditioned bus poses some health risks, although very few passengers are aware of that.

  32. Prokaryotes says:

    The Not-So-Green Picture: First Air Conditioned Bus Station

    Dubai is boasting of their latest creation: the first air-conditioned bus station in the world; ironically located next to some recycle bins in this photo. Instead of employing some green building techniques to reduce the heat, the affluent country opted instead to build an energy-hungry haven instead. Not only that, but more than 800 of them are planned in the coming years. Woe be the world.

  33. MarkR says:

    It’s ridiculous, BUT… those solar power plants will run for decades, the stadia for months.

    So overall, it might be worth it. If Qatar invest heavily in renewable energy and public transport it might work out as a ‘green’ cup!

  34. Ed Hummel says:

    I’ve been a weather forecaster for 40 years and I have to admit that the circulation patterns I’ve been seeing this year in the Northern Hemisphere are the strangest I’ve ever seen. It seems obvious to me that the record warmth in the oceans, especially the Atlantic, is driving these crazy circulation patterns so that monster ocean storms move up toward the Arctic with all their precipitation and amazingly warm air while forcing the normal cooling air masses which form over the continental interiors in the sub Arctic to move south and southwest over both North America and Eurasia to places that they don’t ordinarily go. (Or at least didn’t used to usually go!!) Hence the unusual cold and snow in northwest Europe while Greenland continues melting with extraordinary warmth and rain. In North America, the cold outbreak over the entire West has been persistent since early November while the East from Baffin Island to New England has been quite warm, even with a north wind as air from off the Atlantic continues moving onto eastern Canada and down across the eastern US. In many ways, this pattern is quite similar to what happened last winter when James Inhofe was gloating about the big snow falls in DC. I guess we’ll have to watch him make a fool of himself again this winter as I’m sure he’ll have more unusual snow events to crow about. By the way, I agree with those who say that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar won’t come off; they’ll have other things to keep them occupied if there are any people living there at all.

  35. Some European says:

    To all the commenters and regular readers: don’t you sometimes feel astranged from the rest of humanity when you contemplate them planning for future events as if nothing were going to happen?
    They really have no clue!
    What’s next? Winter Games 2026 in the Alps? New beach resort on the shores of Bangladesh?
    What’s worst of all are the loads of useless economical reports about how much unemployment there will be in 2050, how many homes will be sold, how many inhabitants the world will have.
    Everything, completely wrong: they fail to take into account the single most important factor for their projections.
    Will they be surprised when it all comes crashing down?
    I imagine extraterrestrial life forms visiting our planet in 2150 and finding huge empty cities full of buildings, subways, shopping malls unfinished.
    I’ve stopped planning a while back.
    How do you feel about this? Do you still plan things for your personal life? Do you make long term investments? Is any of that still worthwhile?
    The only things I am still considering are learning to cultivate, fish, hunt, build shelters, make clothes and tools and buy ground in Canada or Siberia.

  36. Alan Sangster says:

    The 2022 football world cup will be held in hot and arid Qatar, on the basis that the stadia will be air conditioned. It is claimed that this will be achieved by solar power, and that the stadia will be carbon neutral.

    On the basis of images in the promotional material, the proposed stadia are likely to be not too dissimilar to the Emirates Stadium in London. The interior of this stadium, under the roof, occupies a volume of 3.5 million cubic metres . If this is filled with air with a specific heat of 1.013kJ/kgK and a density of 0.9kg/m3 and then lowered in temperature from the ambient Qatar temperature of 120F to a comfortable spectating temperature of 80F, a drop of 22K, simple thermodynamics suggest that, in a well insulated space, an energy input of 71 million kJ is required. If we then make a guess that an open roof stadium (as required by FIFA for natural grass growth) would return to the ambient temperature within an hour of switching off the air conditioning, the power required to keep the stadium at 80F will be about 40MW.

    Now the solar power density striking Qatar during the day is about 300W/sq.m. Therefore assuming a solar panel collection efficiency of at best 20%, a roof area of almost 700,000sq.m is required just to meet the air conditioning power requirement of 40MW. The statistics for the Emirates is that 50,000 sq.m of roof area is available so there is a huge short fall. Or put another way, the roof areas of the Qatar stadia are unlikely to produce more than 7% of their air conditioning power requirements. Unless they have dedicated solar power farms to supply the deficit, we must presume that fossil fuel generated electricity will be employed to ensure that the players and spectators are kept cool. In this case the stadia are hardly carbon neutral as the promoters claim.

  37. paulm says:

    #26 Greg, Bastardi is looking very hesitant these days. He certainly seems to be thinking about things more. Things are heating up in terms of weird weather and he cant deny it anymore.

    Hes coming round. Another tipping point maybe?)

  38. Well if Greenland starts a big bigger melt because of the NAO anomalies then Qatar could be underwater before 2022 so water polo may be substituted. Dubai, and all that energy wasting build that had gone in their with fancy man made islands will be nothing but a memory.

    I must go off and do some research and mathematics to work out how it really could pan out.

  39. Oops! Typing with a gammed up hand in a glove isn’t easy!

    Should have been, ‘…that had gone on with their fancy man made islands…’.

  40. Bill Woods says:

    What I don’t understand is why they’ve scheduled this for June–July, rather than January–February.

  41. Eleanor Hungate says:

    The US is unlikely to be selected to host another major international athletic competition until foreign visitors can easily obtain visas and visa reciprocity is extended to more nations.

  42. CTG says:

    I think the 2022 World Cup won’t go ahead either, but for more optimistic reasons. In the next five years, the world is going to wake up to the fact that the world is warming, and start rapidly changing to clean energy sources. The market for fossil fuels will collapse, and the oil and gas empires of the Middle East will come tumbling down. Qatar won’t have two cents left to rub together to build their fancy stadiums.

    Bill Woods – the World Cup is always in June/July so that it doesn’t clash with the European domestic season, which runs from August to May.

  43. Prokaryotes says:

    Today a cable was released about QATARS LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) and US affords to secure these.
    What must happen till governments stop riding a dead horse(fossil energy)?