Chile UV

New Admonition on Sunbathing

From Reuters October 1992 -- The Chilean Government has warned residents at Punta Arenas (53 S latitude) against sunbathing between 10 am and 4 pm. That old devil ultra violet light (remember the blind sheep incident) is at its pesky best again.

According to a local professor, the UV radiation has increased 200% since July as the south polar ozone hole slipped across the southernmost part of Chile. A check of the radiation tables indicates the why of this story. The average radiation at 45 S is 11 megajoules per day in July. In October, the average value is 22 megajoules per day. 200% UP.

The Chilean government might well have checked the mean temperatures in this southernmost, sunbathing Mecca. In October, the 10 am to 4 pm average temperature is 46°F, which is brisk sunbathing. Being a generous fellow, I assumed that the average wind speed in this climate, the "frantic 50s," [a bit breezier than the roaring 40s] is but a modest 15 mph. The wind chill would be below freezing. Think of the sunbathing costs. At a toasty 60°F and 15 mph and in your all-together, you would need 22 lbs/hour of good high fiber, low-calorie cabbage to replace the losses in body heat. Unless you are addicted to cabbage, you should only take part in short periods of ray catching in Punta Arenas.

When you use Reuters as your publication medium, what Chicken Little has time for fact checking?


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