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TV signal, aggressive dogs and beer: The weird ways extreme heat might affect your everday life

Extreme heat has had disastrous ecological and human consequences.
Extreme heat has had disastrous ecological and human consequences. Copyright Chris Weiher
Copyright Chris Weiher
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
Published on
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Across Europe, unseasonably warm temperatures could mean altering the pattern of the school year.

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Climate scientists say this year is set to become the world’s hottest on record.

It follows a blistering summer with heatwaves sweeping across Europe and temperature records smashed around the world.

Extreme heat has had disastrous ecological and human consequences.

But there have also been some odd effects of rising temperatures that might soon become part of everyday life.

TV signals could get worse

Earlier this month, nearly half of French TV owners found they were struggling to get signal amid unseasonably warm October weather.

In the UK, TV platform Freeview warned similarly high temperatures would affect reception in some parts of the country.

TV signals can be affected by high-pressure conditions caused by hot weather. The problem is usually temporary and resolves once the high pressure dissipates.

Dogs might get more aggressive

Recent research found that dog attacks could become more common on hot and polluted days.

Dogs are 11 per cent more likely to bite people on days with higher UV levels, according to Harvard Medical School research.

“Dogs, or the interactions between humans and dogs, are more hostile on hot, sunny, and smoggy days,” the study authors conclude.

“The societal burden of extreme heat and air pollution also includes the costs of animal aggression.”

Olive oil could become scarce

Extreme heat this summer has thrown Europe’s olive oil industry into crisis.

When the mercury rises, olive trees drop their fruit or their health deteriorates as they try to save water.

Spain, the world’s biggest olive oil producer, saw production plummet to around 620,000 metric tonnes this year, compared to the average over the last five years of roughly 1.3 million metric tonnes.

If future springs and summers continue to be this hot, olive oil prices will skyrocket and there will likely be shortages.

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Beer might taste different

Higher temperatures and drought will result in lower production and quality of hops - used to flavour beer - new research has found.

The study published in the journal Nature Communications said hop yields will drop by 4 to 18 per cent by 2050.

The bitter acid content of hops, which is essential to beer’s distinctive flavour, could fall by 20 to 31 per cent meaning your beer might taste different if the world continues to warm.

The school year might change

In early October, schools in the Canary Islands were forced to close as scorching temperatures up to 38C hit the archipelago.

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During their school year, the weather is usually mild and spring-like so most classrooms don’t have air conditioning.

Across Europe, unseasonably warm temperatures could mean altering the pattern of the school year.

In America, there are already signs of what might be to come. Schools in Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh switched to online learning in June this year to cope with the heat.

Schools also let students leave early to avoid the hottest hours of the day. In Europe, too, institutions might soon introduce variable school year start and end dates.

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Working hours might change

Similarly, the hours of the working day may have to change, particularly for people who work outside, have to commute or are in buildings with no air conditioning.

This could see northern European countries adopting the siesta and changing working hours to much earlier in the morning and later in the evening.

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