Feeling the Heat?
With minimal fan-fair danger is lurking of spring heatwaves has begun and yet few people grasp and evaluate the real danger its devastating effects. Recognizing those risks could be a matter of life or death. You might not think a spring temperature spike is due to the coming Grand Solar Minimum. The sun and earth reeling and convulsing as they enter a galactic dust field that will bring vacillating magnetic fields, crustal displacement, weather unknown to the modern world, and a solar cycle that the ancients knew brought cataclysm. Just in case you have not noticed, and to shake things up a bit, the sun has changed color which is a sign of the major events to come. Recently the suns color changed from its typical yellow color to a a cool bluish white. The color sounds remarkably similar to the Hopi Indians Blue Star Kachina heralds a world engulfing cataclysm, the ninth and final sign before the "Day of Purification," that signifies the beginning of a new world.
After a brutal winter most of us are experiencing a respite from freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation. Sudden spring heatwaves do not provide man, beasts, or plants, time to gently adapt into summer warmth. A clear increase in the number and duration of heat waves is being reported, increasing the risk to human health who are becoming more vulnerable Within the last three weeks my area in the Rockies has had a 100 degree temperature swing, going from -40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit! Last summer we hot 107 degrees here. Unprecedented. Why should this alarm you?
- Heat waves are more dangerous than tornadoes
- Heat waves kill more people than sharks.
- Heat waves put more human lives at risk than blizzards, floods or lightning storms.
- Eight of the ten major human loss of life events were connected to extreme climate with three are related to heat waves.
- A direct societal impact of heat is death. Tens of thousands of deaths have been reported.
As the UN puts if, "Assuming there is a pool of people at elevated risk of dying (“high-risk pool or vulnerable”) in a population at any given time, a hot episode increases the risk of dying for those individuals, decreasing the pool size, simply put heatwaves the perfect depopulation mechanism. Heat also potentially increases the recruitment of individuals into the high-risk pool from the general population.
Heatwaves also place an increased strain on infrastructure such as power, water and transport. Clothes and food retailing, tourism and ecosystem services can also be affected, such that there may be socioeconomic “winners and losers” from heatwave events. In some instances, heatwaves may even trigger social disturbances at a number of levels.
Heatwaves occurring early in the summer have been shown to be associated with greater impacts on death in the same population than later heatwaves of comparable or higher temperatures.
Heatwaves are a pervasive natural hazard. Although there is no universally accepted definition, they are understood to be periods of unusually hot and dry or hot and humid weather over the duration of at least two–three days, usually with a discernible impact on human and natural systems. Natural systems are severely affected by the impacts sustained beyond the duration of a heatwave. Heat waves are coming early and are hotter as the years roll along.
There are dry heatwaves and moist heatwaves.
Dry heatwaves are often associated with stable periods of weather that bring clear skies and large inputs of solar radiation. Hot and dry conditions may also be accompanied by windy conditions, which can increase heat stress.
Moist heatwaves are characterized by very warm, oppressive, humid conditions throughout the day and night, often with nocturnal cloud cover, a feature that prevents loss of heat accumulated throughout the day and thus little night-time relief.
There are temperature thresholds that life can endure to survive-beyond that lies increased illness and death. When considering heat waves you need to consider several things such as ambient temperature, thermal sensation, relative humidity, and your activities.
The gravest heatwave danger lies in areas with a highly variable summer climate or a clear hot season and, accordingly, may result from a range of large-scale meteorological situations and climate-related mechanistic processes.
Heat is usually a result of the synergistic effects of temperature and humidity, as direct exposure to radiation load does not usually occur in such sheltered environments.
Death Knell to Health
What can you expect for your health as the temperatures skyrocket? The collapse of the ability of individual’s body to regulate its temperature through the blood stream or by sweating is one of the most commonly reported effects leading to death. The most vulnerable sectors of population to heat waves are elder and infants.
The problem with these large temperature variations with sudden onset is that your body does not have time to adapt or learn to deal with the heat.
When excessive heat exposure overwhelms the body’s heat-dissipating mechanisms your core temperature rises. An increase of as little as one degree Celsius (1ºC) is detected by your thermoreceptors and that information is disseminated through your skin, deep tissue and organs. The thermoreceptors convey the information to the hypothalamic thermoregulatory center in your brain and vasodilatation (enlarging your blood vessels) by inhibiting the sympathetic center responsible for vasoconstriction, and the initiation of sweating through your cholinergic. Your skin (cutaneous) vasodilatation results in marked increases in blood flow to the skin and cardiac output at the expense of other major vascular beds -basically your other organs. These cardiovascular adjustments to accelerate the transport of heat from the core to the periphery (arms and leags) for dissipation to the surroundings constitute a major stress on the cardiovascular system. Initiation of sweating results in the production of up to two liters per hour of sweat, rich in sodium and potassium, depleting your electrolytes that keep your minerals balanced in your body. This poses additional stress on the cardiovascular system if the plasma volume is not properly restored – by intake of fluid, for example.
Heat stroke syndrome due to heat load and a rising body core temperature
- Kidney disease
- Lung disorders including aggravated asthma
- Digestive disease
- Diabetes fluctuations
- Increases blood clotting
- Cardiac problems
- Poor thermoregulation or the inability to balance heat gains to, and heat losses from, the body.
- Heat exhaustion,
- Heat cramps,
- Heat syncope,
- Heat edema
- Heat rush
- Psychiatric illness
Indirect threats of heat waves include the flourishing of harmful algae capable of producing toxins in drinking water supply water bodies, increasing the risks of intoxication for the population.
Synergistic effects of heat and poor air quality are likely to contribute to increased mortality and hospital admissions. Another indirect threat are the environmental and social resilience by reducing food and water supplies.
Burgeoning megacities, where the Uniform Heat Index effect will exponentially add to their heat loads.
Some populations are more vulnerable and include age (being elderly or very young), having pre-existing disease, living alone, being socially isolated, homeless, not having access to heat– health information in a variety of forms, being immobile, suffering from mental illness, those working outdoors, or not being able to undertake self-care.
Alerts and Warning
Those in power have known about this cyclical cycle for some time. the UN issued their Heatwaves and Health: Guidance on Warning-System Development although you did not hear anything about it. Scientists, researchers, and policy makers are gleaning data on the impact of heatwaves through artificial intelligence. Authorities’ warnings are limited to the minimum actions, such as hydration and, in some cases, recommendations on outdoor activities. Those warnings do not include details on specific health alerts. They are watching you squirm and die from the effects of these heatwaves providing little to no practical information that you can use to help you and your loved ones adapt to the New Normal.
There are studies and working groups that discuss the implementation of early warning systems, improved communication, and effective emergency measures during heat waves, including appropriate health services could somewhat mitigate the heat wave impact but little is accomplished. In short, do not expect much.
What are some practical steps that you can take to adapt to early onset heatwaves?
Keep very hydrated. I would look into DIY electrolyte beverage rather than sugary sports drinks or Gatorade.
Stop heat exhaustion dead in its tracks. If you notice symptoms take action, do not wait. If it goes to far seek medical attention, of that is possible.
Take shelter in the heat of the day. The Hispanic people have it right. Take a mid-day siesta especially if you do hard labor, agriculture or your job requires physical excretion outdoors.
Fans or air conditioning. If you have this luxury, use it. My concern is if you get used to it then if we do experience a grid down situation you will be worse off than you are right now.
Use shade as your friend. It was good in the bible and it is still a great option today.
Provide TLC to the vulnerable. Provide plenty of fresh and cool water to people, pets, livestock, and plants.
Learn basic heatwave first-aid.
Less is better for alcohol and many medications. Heat will impact the way your body responds to these.
Use cooling stations. If those are an option in the city, stadiums, and so forth.
Our chaotic weather is going to increase and with it bring sooner and hotter pre-seasonal temperature spikes. We need integrate adaptation strategies into our daily life year round so that we are as prepared as we can be when the mercury spikes.
Celeste will be returning to Lost Arts Radio with Host Richard Sacks talking about my favorite herbs; how to grow them; and how to use them.
The program will air on You Tube. This Sunday, March 24, 2019 at 6 PM. It will also be on BlogTalk Radio and other stations. I will have the info soon.
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Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activation's include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.
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Celeste grew up in a military & governmental home with her father working for the Naval Warfare Center, and later as Assistant Director for Public Lands and Natural Resources, in both Washington State and California.
Celeste also has training and expertise in small agricultural lobbying, Integrative/Functional Medicine, asymmetrical and symmetrical warfare, and Organic Farming.
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Brief for GSDR – 2016 Update Heat Waves: A Growing Climate Change-related Risk
Polioptro Martinez1 and Erick R. Bandala2 * 1Universidad de las Americas Puebla, Mexico. 2 Division of Hydrologic Sciences. Desert Research Institute