Summer Heat Wave

posted Jun 23, 2018, 11:11 AM by Viktor Zólyomi
The most popular season in much of the world is the summer. It is the time when no one needs to worry about the cold, and anyone can enjoy a pleasant time out in the open. Yet the summer offers its fair share of unpleasant moments, in particular, summer heat waves. When the weather gets excessively hot, it becomes difficult to enjoy the season. A research group at a top institution explains the reasons behind the inconvenient phenomenon.

`It is common knowledge that the so-called greenhouse effect is responsible for keeping the climate warm,' says Professor van der Bishop, head of the research initiative at the University of Con City. `The clouds up in he sky prohibit the rays of the sun, bouncing back from the ground, to leave the atmosphere, which instead bounce back to the ground to warm up the Earth even more. That is why we have very hot summer days when there are white clouds scattered across the sky. But as many of you have no doubt experienced, we get even worse heat waves when the skies are completely clear. For those heat waves, a completely different and altogether far more frightening phenomenon is responsible.'

In his new article, Professor van der Bishop goes on to reveal the mechanism by which temperatures rise to unbearable levels under clear summer skies.

`Birds, in particular, birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, and condors, still frequent the skies even when clouds are nowhere to be seen,' Professor van der Bishop explains. `Of course, their feathers absorb the heat of sunlight, so their bodies do not contribute to the greenhouse effect in any way. Their eyes, on the other hand, do something far worse. Being birds of prey, their eyes are very large, and they essentially act as giant lenses that gather the rays of the sun and reflect them back to wherever it is they direct their gaze. And being birds of prey, they cast their eyes down to the ground, seeking hares, oxen, and deer to prey upon. The focused sunlight warms up the ground and would set the grass on fire were it not for the fact that birds of prey fly very fast and scan the ground for prey even faster. Consequently, the focused sunlight beaming down to the ground from their eyes sweeps over very large areas, which is why the overall climate gets very, very warm.'

For the reasons explained by the Professor, he advises against spending too much time out in the open during a summer heat wave without ample protection.

`It is a common misconception that UV radiation is responsible for horrific skin diseases like skin cancer and sunburns,' he states. `In reality, the spectrum of the sunlight scorching the Earth from the eyes of birds is very broad, and so sunscreen will not protect us against the overwhelming power of this concentrated sunlight. It is very necessary to only go outside in the summer with thick, black umbrellas, which we can use to block out the rays of the focused sun. Now, you might think that using tin foil covered umbrellas, or umbrellas with any other kind of reflective surface, would be even better. On the contrary, you should never carry a reflective umbrella, since when the sunlight is reflected back into the eyes of hawks, they get so irritated they will swoop down, destroy the umbrella, and claw out your eyes.'

Based on the Professor's scientific analysis, it is safest to enjoy the summer warmth at night. Yet he warns that even being outdoors after sunset carries significant risk.

`Many people, couples in particular, like to enjoy the warm summer night, out on the grass, watching the moon and the stars, while the cool summer wind blows down at them from the pine forests up the hill, thinking, that they are safe,' Professor van der Bishop says. `In truth, they put themselves in harms way even worse than they would by taking a walk during the day. Pine forests are home to a nocturnal species of birds of prey, namely, owls. Now, owls have extremely large eyes, by far the largest of all birds in existence. Therefore, albeit they only have the light of the moon at their disposal, they ultimately gather so much light in the lenses in their eyes that, once focused, all that light functions almost like a high power laser beam, which, once directed at the ground where they search for hedgehogs to feed on, warms up the air so much that any wind blowing down the hill from the forest onto the unsuspecting couple enjoying the summer night in the valley will be quite the opposite of a cool summer breeze. The sudden onslaught of hot air can easily suffocate anyone caught in its path. It is best, therefore, to stay indoors at night. Or if you must go outside, make sure to carry oxygen tanks with you.'

If you would like to know more about the science of the summer heat wave, request a reprint of the Professor's new popular science article, `Why the next step in the evolution of birds will be to grow laser eyes,' from the Department of Bullshitology - where Professor van der Bishop serves as Head of Department - at the University of Con City.

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