Precautions necessary as temperature rises


Grace Lewis, [email protected]

While summer is coming to an end, temperatures continue to rise. This may worry students about climate change, but according to Dr. Case Hanks, associate professor of atmospheric science, this is normal.
“According to the past climatology we are only a little hotter than normal, but there is not enough data to pinpoint climate change directly as the reason,” Hanks said.
While it is unclear whether the hotter weather is due to climate change, there are signs that point to the possibility of it.
According to United States Geology Survey, one sign of climate change are tropical storms like Hurricane Dorian, becoming more severe due to warmer ocean temperatures. Other signs of climate change are glaciers melting at a faster rate and droughts becoming longer and more extreme around the world.
But since Louisiana is a subtropical climate, it is normal for us to have higher temperatures. Graduate student, Skyler Twombly, said this is because we are so close to the Gulf of Mexico.
“The majority of our dry air comes from the Gulf because the circulation is counterclockwise, which shoots directly into Louisiana,” Twombly said.
With this hot weather it is important to be aware of the dangers of higher temperatures. Some dangers of these temperatures include heat stroke and heat stress injuries such as cramps and rashes.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness and excessive sweating. Heat stroke comes with chills, rapid heartbeat and dry skin.
To prevent these dangers from occuring, students should drink more water than normal, limit outdoor activity and stay updated on the weather with the local news, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Twombly said instead of wearing jeans, wear light weight clothes to feel cooler while walking across campus.
Hanks said that the hottest time of the day is between two and five. Limit your activity during those times, if possible.
If staying inside is not an option, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests using sunscreen to protect yourself from skin cancer.
Studies conducted by Tulsa University suggest that weather has a correlation with student performance. It may even decrease memorization and thought processing which is what affects learning abilities.
However, it is more likely that hot weather simply effects people’s comfort levels which causes them to underperform in mental and physical tasks, according to Twombly.
The sun can also negatively affect your eyesite. To be safe, Healthline said people should always wear sunglasses whenever the sun is bearing down hard on hot days.