While some enjoy the sunshine, others hate when there’s too much sun. Imagine walking in the city wearing a suit in the middle of the day. You’ll be drenched with sweat all over, and that doesn’t leave a good impression on your colleagues or business partners when going to a meeting.
The worst part is, due to the effects of climate change, it is getting hotter and hotter every year. The USA today describes that the normal temperature nowadays is one degree higher than it was before. Fox News, on the other hand, has listed five of the hottest states in America. Florida ranks the highest, followed by Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama.
But so what if there’s too much sunshine?
Harms of excessive heat
Too much sun can be harmful, and it’s not just because of aesthetics. It can affect your physical health, too.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) published a journal on the effects of extreme heat on a human’s health. It states that one of the main consequences is heatstroke. It is a heart-related disorder that happens when a person’s body cannot control his temperature.
Heatstroke happens when a person is suffering from heat but cannot produce sweat. Sweat is a natural body mechanism that helps the body cool down. If this function fails, the result could be lethal. CDC also cited that living in higher temperatures is linked with respiratory problems. The higher the temperature, the more chances that air pollutants will build up.
In Japan, the year 2019 saw 57 deaths and 18,000 hospital cases due to heatwave. Tokyo, its capital city, saw the most number of hospitalized individuals that year.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), on the other hand, adds that heat exhaustion and heat cramps are other effects of excessive exposure to heat. Heat cramps, in particular, are muscle spasms that a person experiences when exercising under extreme heat. It could be excruciating and more prolonged than regular cramps.
NIEHS also says that extreme heat affects a human’s cerebral and cardiovascular functions. Most vulnerable to these conditions are the elderly and children, plus those who have existing medical conditions.
Beating the heat
There are several ways to beat the heat and lessen the harmful effects it may cause you.
One is to make sure that you have properly installed an air conditioning unit in your home. If you do have one installed, ensure that your air conditioner has been repaired and maintained before summer comes. This ensures that you won’t have to do repairs in the middle of sweltering heat.
As heatwaves can be deadly, the government must update individuals if such an event will arise. Early warning can advise people to stay home and lessen exposure to outside heat. It can also inform local government units to provide open cooling centers for the public who do not have access to air conditioning.
Preventing dehydration is also important. If going outside is unavoidable, always bring cool water to help your body regulate heat. This is important, especially when exercising. As heat cramp is caused by loss of fluid and electrolytes in the body, it is best to bring a sports drink to hydrate and restore electrolytes.
The long-term solution, though, is to lessen our contribution to climate change. This way, we prevent temperatures from increasing each year. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) made a list of ways to prevent climate change.
It involves making your home sustainable by using renewable energy resources like wind and solar power. Another way to lessen energy use is by buying energy-efficient appliances. LED light bulbs, in particular, use 80% less energy than conventional light bulbs.
Why do we have to reduce energy consumption, and how is it related to climate change? The science is simple– to produce energy, it needs to burn oil, coal, and fossil fuels. This process produces carbon dioxide that ultimately harms the environment.
Though industrial processes are the main contributors to pollution and global warming, we still do our part. Practice what you preach as they say. We can call on these major industries to do their part, but we have to do ours as well.
Part of human life
As the sun is an essential part of human life and how the earth functions, we only have one choice– to live with it. Sunshine certainly brings joy. When summer comes, people flock to the beaches to enjoy its warmth. Yet, as with everything, too much is harmful.
The sun isn’t the enemy, but excessive heat is trapped within our atmosphere. Part of it is our fault. As responsible citizens of the earth, we must do what we can to prevent the heat from worsening.
Meta title: Excessive Heat: Effects and Ways to Beat It
Meta desc: The sun isn’t the enemy, but excessive heat. As global warming occurs, it affects all of us. Here are some effects of excessive heat and ways to beat it.