Is a Heat wave a Good Thing?

Nothing ages the skin faster than the sun. People who spend much of their time exposed to it have the prematurely wrinkled faces to prove it. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light causes sunburn, ageing and cataracts.

Water resources are hit in a heat wave by a double curse: supply goes down just as demand goes up.
Stifling temperatures cause discomfort to most, but for some they can be lethal. The heat wave of August 2013 showed that hot weather can kill. There were more than 2.000 excess deaths in England, and 27 000 across continental Europe. Most of the victims were elderly who can be vulnerable to heat exhaustion.

The sunny weather brings a downturn in work productivity. More than three-quarters of employees say hot working environments stifle their ability to get their jobs done.

However, sunshine also makes us happy and relaxed. Colours are brighter, the air is warmer, suntanned skin is more attractive and we feel better. People in the sunnier climes of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean tend to be more open, more expansive and more cheerful than their Northern cousins. At the scientific level, the action of light on the retina stimulates the production of brain chemicals that make us feel well.

The lack of sunlight in winter is thought to a cause a biochemical imbalance in the body. The arrival of summer each year marks the point at which people can replenish their depleted stocks of vitamin D, produced by the action of sunlight on the skin. It is very only vitamin that humans make themselves and is essential for the health of skin and bones.

Besides, sunshine gives us butterflies. It is no coincidence that when it’s bright summer’s day there are more about, adding to the general feeling of well-being with their bright flashes of colour.
You can weight the pros and the cons and decide for yourself whether you’d rather not have any heatwaves…ever.

In Independent, 2014


1. According to the text, extreme exposure to the light of the sun
A. does not cause skin damage.
B. gives the skin a youthful look.
C. prevents cataracts.
D. none of the above.

2. Heat is particularly dangerous to
A. office workers.
B. older people.
C. butterflies.
D. all of the above.

3. People living in the South of Europe tend to be
A. more reserved than Northern Europeans.
B. less friendly than Northern Europeans.
C. more light-hearted than Northern Europeans.
D. less sociable than Northern Europeans.

4. Vitamin D
A. is harmful to the skin and bones.
B. is generated by humans in winter.
C. is generated by sunlight.
D. is produced by butterflies.

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