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Below Singapore’s financial district, a thermal storage tank feeds the world’s biggest underground cooling system

Below Singapore’s financial district, a thermal storage tank feeds the world’s biggest underground cooling system

Photographer: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg

Solving the Global Cooling Problem

As air-conditioning sucks up more and more energy, Singapore finds a greener way to keep cool.

In Singapore, close to the Equator, temperatures regularly rise above 32 degrees Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) — but inside the soaring glass greenhouses of Gardens by the Bay, the country’s award-winning botanical park, it’s a pleasant 24 degrees.

The daffodils and tulips of the flower dome, along with two dozen nearby towers that are normally full of bankers, shoppers, residents, hotel guests and gamblers, are chilled by what is probably the world’s largest underground district cooling system. It’s a giant air conditioner that is attempting to solve one of the biggest problems of global warming: How to stay cool.