The sun rises in the sky on March 24, 2018, and we’re all expecting a few scorching hours of sunshine.
That’s when it’s time to turn on your heating.
If you live in a city, however, you may be more vulnerable to scorching temperatures, according to experts.
This means you’re more likely to be exposed to the sun’s damaging rays, and could suffer heat-related illnesses.
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Ottawa and the University in Calgary compared the health effects of the sun coming up for the first time in 20 years with the effects of a typical winter in Canada.
They found the sun came up for two hours shorter than the average winter.
The researchers also found that people living in areas with more heat-trapping pollution had more skin cancers.
“The sun’s going to be a problem from April to October because it’s going through the atmosphere so much and it’s really going to increase the risk of skin cancer,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Michael G. Dolan.
Dwayne P. Smith, a senior research fellow in the Department of Occupational Health and Safety, said the researchers studied more than 100,000 people who lived in 20 cities across Canada.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
While it’s possible to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and other protective measures, Smith said the longer the sun is up, the more the damage is likely to happen.
“If you are in a really hot city, you could potentially get a really high temperature for a few hours and then that could be really bad,” he said.
“We are just starting to look at that and see if there are other factors that are influencing that.”
The sun’s rays hit the skin at a very high rate, and it takes time for that damage to set in.
Smith said it’s important to keep your skin warm, dry and protected from the elements.
“Even though the sun will come up for some time, the amount of time that the sun goes up is going to impact the health of your skin,” he explained.
Dorman said while it’s difficult to predict the sunspot cycle, some areas of the world tend to experience more sunspots than others.
In the U.S., for example, some cities tend to get more sun than others, and areas with higher temperatures tend to have more sunspot activity.
“A lot of the time, there’s a lot of variation in where we are and where our cities are,” he added.
“That means that when you are sitting in a hot city in a cold climate, it may take longer for your skin to start to get damaged.”
For people living north of the border, the sun doesn’t hit until April, and if you live closer to the equator, it doesn’t come up until July.
If your city doesn’t have a summer sun, Dolan said you should expect to see more sun at a later time of year.
In Canada, the most sunny time of the year is December, and in most other parts of the country, the summer sun peaks in February or March.
If temperatures are hot, Dyson said the sun can come up in a matter of days, and the sun may stay up longer than normal.
“It’s going a little bit faster in some places than others,” he noted.
“So you are probably going to see longer-term health effects.”
Dolan also warned that if you don’t want to be caught by the sun in the winter, you can still protect yourself.
Dyson also pointed out that if it is summertime in the U-M area, it is possible to reduce your exposure to the sunlight by covering your windows with layers of newspaper or other insulation, as well as putting a layer of plastic over your windows and doors to protect them from sunburn.
Dronl said the most important thing to do is to get out there and get your clothes on and be ready to take a shower, because the sun could be up there for days.
He added that it is important to be smart about your lifestyle, and to remember to always use sunscreen, avoid outdoor activities and keep cool.
“You can’t just stay indoors,” Dolan warned.
“Be smart about what you do.”
Dyson is an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University at Buffalo.