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DeMONT: Get ready for more hot time, summer in the city days

Time:2018-08-09 20:10Underwear site information Click:

Chronicle News Media Bedford Halifax

It is quiet on the bottom floor of the University of King’s College library, where, in a small study carrel, I sat Tuesday typing these words.

Not at all then like the house where I normally work, which happens to be next to the site of a new school — like many new Halifax buildings so completely out of scale with its surroundings that it is as if it dropped from the sky with a loud thud — where the hammering, grinding and pounding begins at precisely 7 a.m. every weekday.

The King’s library has something else in its favour: inside it is cool as a Paul Desmond solo, which makes it alluring for someone who lately begins every day weighing whether to go mad from the construction noise next door, or to close the windows and risk becoming the first casualty, I know of, from the great heat wave of 2018.

When I called the Nova Scotia health authority on Tuesday, a spokesperson told me that not a single patient has lately shown up at the QEll Health Science Centre’s ER with heat-related symptoms.

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Looking at Cindy Day’s seven day-forecast elsewhere in the paper, with the temperatures perpetually flirting with the 30-degree mark, it’s clear that can only be a matter of time.

But please don’t take my word for it.

A global study released Tuesday by researchers at Monash University, near Melbourne, Australia, predicted that unless we find a way to somehow reduce heat waves, or help people adapt to them, there’s going to be a dramatic increase in heat wave-related deaths around the world.

“Future heat waves in particular will be more frequent, more intense and last much longer,” the study’s lead, Yuming Guo, said in a news release.

That’s particularly true in tropic and sub-tropical places but also in countries like Australia, where, under the extreme scenario in the model developed by researchers, a trio of cities will see heat-wave deaths spike by 471 per cent from 2031 to 2080.

It’s also true in formerly frigid places like Canada where some 74 deaths in Quebec have been linked to this summer’s unrelenting heat wave.

My reading of the study is that, under the extreme heat-wave scenario, Canada would face nearly four times the number of heat-wave fatalities in 2031-80 as it did in 1971-2010.

What may doom folks like me, who count their ancestors among the original European settlers in this land, might be our general lack of familiarity with real “hot time, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty” temperatures.

At least this is how it looked to me on Tuesday, watching an overdressed business type, his ginger complexion deepened into a tomato-red flush, hurrying down Spring Garden Road at a dangerous clip, and a woman, pedalling her bike up South Park Street, her face a rictus of confusion and pain.

I’m no better with the heat, scuttling as I do from air-conditioned building to air-conditioned building, lying there in the dark as the fans circulate the dead bedroom air.

I have no more energy, or ambition, than the dog I walk in the morning or evening, when even the cooler temperatures don’t do a thing for our somnambulant pace.

So, in the hope of gaining some insight into beating the heat, I went to an expert.

I quickly discovered that Cindy Day, SaltWire network’s chief meteorologist, is someone who actually luxuriates in the heat.

When she leaves her studio at the end of Wednesday, Day will get into a car that has been baking all day in the parking lot.

Then, for a few minutes, she will just sit there, “so the heat really gets into my bones.”

Like all of us she has her limits. Day also has her own techniques for staying cool in the heat — although none of them is perhaps as creative as her grandmother who, when the hot temperatures hit up in southern Ontario, would put her underwear in the freezer overnight.

That way her body temperature would be immediately lowered when she donned them the next morning.

Day did adopt one beat-the-heat strategy from her grandmother: leave the dark clothes in the closet and wear light-coloured garb, which doesn’t tend to attract and retain the heat.

As for the eternal question of whether, when the temperature soars, to close the windows and lower the blinds to keep the house cool or to just open everything up and let the outside air in, Day has opted for a scientific compromise.

She keeps the windows and drapes shut downstairs. But upstairs, Day, who doesn’t even have air conditioning, opens every window, letting the rising hot air escape her house.

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