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Meet some charterboat captains, artists, chefs and restaurateurs, animal rescuers, musicians and writers, historians, treasure seekers and many other locals of the Florida Keys and learn, through their stories and comments, about their lives, work, passions and reasons for loving the island chain.


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Texas is absolutely the hottest and most insufferable state in the entire nation. Texas alone has the right to be known as One, the worst. This distinction has not been established merely by consensus or legend, but by scientific investigation. The proof may be found right on 50 in a little text called Environmental Physiologya book written by and for doctors who study how we adapt—or fail to adapt—to things like climatic conditions.

The hottest place in the whole u.s.a.

I quote with italics added:. A review of worldwide effective temperature data for summer reveals that the Red Sea and the Indus Valley are the worst. There are a handful of other similarly sophisticated indicators—the discomfort index, the temperature-humidity index, desert equivalent temperature—all of which add up to the same conclusion: Texas, all climatic factors considered, is unquestionably the hottest.

Just how hot? But these scientific facts and figures scarcely begin to tell the story. Few people live in Death Valley. Its effects touch everything we do, our customs, our movements, the houses we live in, the clothes we wear, the food we eat. Exposure to too much sun, meanwhile, can cause sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts, and premature aging.

Each year, our battle against heat literally saps our bodies, our minds, and, as recent utility bills so clearly show, our money.

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Our cities have become islands of heat. In hot and miserable Texas, they are the hottest and most miserable places. Indeed, when all environmental factors are taken intoparts of Houston have a much higher effective temperature than the lower Rio Grande or even the lower Amazon. So many things about a city—cars, concrete, clusters of tall buildings, population density, pollution—make them insufferable in the summer.

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Depending on the size of the metropolis, they can average anywhere from four to twenty degrees hotter than the surrounding countryside. Cechova, who he the study. The point is, even in our modern city, which we might expect to be well ventilated because of its location near the Gulf, we have major temperature differences from section to section.

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A study of the effects of the July 4,heat wave on Saint Louis found that the death rate due to heat was five-and-a-half times greater inside the city limits than in the suburbs. The total of central city Saint Louis residents killed by heat that weekend: A study of New York City during that same heat wave attributed excess deaths to the heat. Most of these heat-related excess deaths are caused by heart failures, but a recent Environmental Protection Agency study has concluded that cancer deaths rise too.

It is not the sun itself which causes the problems.

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In fact, heat from the sun is actually less intense in the city; urban areas receive 20 to 30 per cent less direct solar radiation than rural areas. But this is at best a small comfort. The more the pollution, the thicker and more wind-resistant the blanket—and the hotter the city. What really intensifies the effect of urban heat is the way a city is built.

Clusters of tall buildings reduce breezes by as much as 65 per cent at street level. Meanwhile, window glass reflects and intensifies heat and sunlight. Concrete is one of the best heat absorption surfaces known. In addition to sun and pollution and city structure, industrial and commercial activity contribute to the heat load. One heat-producing machine is the very device deed to eliminate heat—the good old air conditioner.

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The wonder gas that absorbs heat and makes cooling possible is Freon. Although environmental researchers recognize that air conditioning makes cities hotter, there have as yet been no complete, systematic studies of its total effect. This estimate includes some units like the typical 3-ton units found in most average-sized homes, but mostly units like the ton installation that cools One Shell Plaza.

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It takes about 26, BTUs of heat energy to produce each ton of air conditioning. But each ton also gives off about 12, BTUs of heat from its compressor. For an eight-hour day, the total is an astronomical Where does all this heat go? But not too high up. This problem is of particular concern to Dr. Or does it mean that our environment is just too tough for us? Another problem has to do with the way apartment complexes are built.

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Battles for more green space and better urban planning are hard fought and even harder won. Scientists have at least recognized some of the problems and have begun to search for solutions. It is possible that the shared misery of the increasing urban heat load may finally precipitate some future change.

If, that is, the sunlight can manage to filter through the pollution. It can speed up the aging process and addle your brain. It can make you eat more and urinate less.

Your pulse rate will rise and so will your body temperature. Your fellow human beings present more of a threat, since crime rates soar in the summer. This is possible primarily because of acclimatization. Up to a point, that is. Heat from the sun starts out as violent explosions within its core, millions of massive reactions with a single result: the conversion of hydrogen to helium.

Fortunately, only a few billionths of it gets the 93, miles to earth; the rest is diffused in space. The rays that filter through are what we experience as sunlight and what give us sunburns and tans. Heat, as opposed to direct sunlight, may be experienced for longer periods by healthy people not yet adapted to it. Such exposure, if properly conducted, can even make you healthier, more Hot single women Grassy Key ok, and more productive. Two such daily exposures do not speed the process, three exposures are too many. Fortunately, acclimatization also causes a drop in the salt content of all this increased sweating, thus helping the body conserve precious sodium chloride.

Finally, and not of small importance, you will be more physically at ease.

It is. But before you get carried away with how much heat you can stand, remember your degree of acclimatization is directly related to the conditions of exposure. You have to acclimatize with specific attention to specific task and temperature conditions.

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Finally, all of this applies only to healthy people and immeasurably less to women. Hertig, Frederick Sargent, and others. Nobody is sure why.

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It appears that females simply have a lower capacity for sweating even though they have more sweat glands. There is but one final climatic twist. But that is a story for January, not August. Summer heat literally penetrates the entire human organism.

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Its reputed consequences on the mind are even more wide ranging and profound; but doctors simply have no accepted notion of what causes the vast syndrome of social and psychological misfortune they have labeled heat asthenia. The difficulty begins with the fact that we are homoiotherms. Exactly what triggers the thousands of eccrine sweat glands—temperature receptors in the skin, temperature receptors in the brain, or both—is a subject of medical debate, but their effect is not: the fluid brought to the surface cools the body by the familiar process of evaporation.

These are panting and vasodilation. Panting transfers heat from the body by exhalation. Vasodilation and sweating for about 25 per cent each.

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But sweating is not perfect, either. As relative humidity rises, the atmosphere absorbs less moisture. Water begins to collect on the skin, blocking further perspiration, and sweat itself adds to body heat. In the dry desert air, the problem is turned around. The body sweats more and more, losing high volumes of salts and body fluids to the atmosphere.