Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunstroke

Egypt

I am eager to know more about life at high temperatures as this is suitable for Egypt. I'd like to know how plants deal with that and how humans and other organisms deal with it too.

Four O'Clock Flowers

I have noticed that my four o'clock flower plants have acclimatized with high temperature when the tree that used to shade them was pruned and they suddenly received a higher doze of sunlight than they were used to. During the following season they managed to tolerate the heat much better. I believe the mulching I have added to them helped make them tolerate the extra heat yet I believe their ability to acclimatize did have a profound effect as well.

Sunstroke

Humans also can get a sunstroke if they are exposed to excessive heat, through strong direct sunlight, for an extended period of time (a number of hours). This shows how the body fails to deal with the excessive heat and how its cooling system has a limit after which it can break down. Of course keeping hydrated by drinking lots of water helps in avoiding such sunstrokes and can also help in relieving the effects of a sunstroke after it hits.

That's why when running they advise us to drink lots of water before, during and after the run itself. That's why I get really tired and loose energy after such a running day in the sun particularly if I do not consume enough water.

Human Cells

I remember at school that in biology I heard that cells of human tissue would solidify at temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. This fact was pretty interesting for me, as for me intuitively things liquify at higher temperatures rather than solidify. The teacher explained it by making an analogy with the white of an egg, it solidifies when heated. This notion was scary to me, as it signaled the death of human tissue at such high temperature. I wounder if this piece of info was really true. I would like to check it out and know more about how this process works and consequences and all.

Sinai

I wonder what interesting wild plants would be found in Sinai that withstand such high desert heat and low availability of water.

Fire-free Egypt

In Egypt we do not usually have high risks of fire despite the high temperatures and also low humidity. The reason behind this is mainly that we do not have forests in Egypt. Houses also are almost never built using wood (perhaps also due to the lack of presence of forests in Egypt).

Fire-surviving Plants

It is interesting to realized that some plants would not regenerate or propagate (seeds would not sprout) except after experiencing very high temperatures of a fire.

Sterilization

That's why we use very high temperatures to sterilize something. Such high temperatures can kill harmful microorganisms.

Solarization

This also explains the concept of soil solarization that is sometimes used in agriculture to sterilize soil from 'harmful' microorganisms.

Also water solarization is a method by which water can be purified by exposing it to direct sunlight for a specific period of time.

I have also heard before that direct sunlight as it falls for a period of time on streams of water can break down pathogens and help purify the water.

Compost

That's why compost heaps that are high enough can reach high temperatures that would kill pathogens. Compost heaps higher than a certain level though might even cause a fire! It is therefore advisable to keep compost heaps at a height of 1 meters only and not more.

Biomimicry in Houses

It would be interesting to look at the many strategies that organisms employ to avoid, reduce or withstand heat in order to get inspiration for methods by which we could build houses for humans that would employ similar natural strategies.

Hell Fire

Hell and fire are considered to be punishment for (bad) humans in Islam, Christianity and other religions. Hell fire represents extremes of heat conditions that the human body is naturally unable to tolerate causing extreme degrees of stress, discomfort and pain.

Edges

When two different environments meet, their interaction creates a continuum of transitioning environments between them which in turn results in a high diversity of organisms living in such high variety of micro-environments. This is basically the concept of edges pointed to in permaculture.