English Lessons


Heat Wave

Many parts of the world are experiencing a heat wave of unprecedented scale this summer. As an extreme example, the United Kingdom experienced temperatures of 104 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time in recorded history. Let's talk today about the heat wave and other aspects of hot weather — hopefully with some nice, cool air conditioning running!


DJ, let the beat play, make a heat wave when you replay this.

Caption 50, Madcon feat. Ray Dalton: Don't Worry

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The heat wave referred to here is a metaphor, or figure of speech, but the heat wave enveloping many English-speaking countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom this summer is very real.


With more energy in the atmosphere, weather becomes more extreme, so there are more floods, droughts, and storms.

Captions 64-66, FuseSchool: How Burning Fossil Fuels Leads to Climate Change

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A common side effect of heat waves is droughts. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "drought" as "a period of dryness especially when prolonged;  specifically, one that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their successful growth." It is therefore likely that the heat will cause there to be shortages in food production and higher prices in the coming year.


This heat makes more ice melt, which in turn allows more heat to be absorbed.

Caption 80, FuseSchool: How Does Global Warming Affect The Environment

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Another problem with excessively hot weather is the melting of the polar ice caps, which leads to rising ocean levels and floods.


The sea ice acts like the world's air conditioner.

Caption 35, Arctic Sea Ice: Why melting matters

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Many places that are now experiencing heat waves have rarely seen such high temperatures and do not have the infrastructure to deal with them. In some places, living spaces, offices, schools, and public transport do not have air conditioning, which makes day-to-day living uncomfortable and even dangerous. The heat can present a major health risk for the elderly and people suffering from illnesses.


I have a fan, so in the summertime it's cool enough for me to be in here.

Captions 16-17, Creative Space: An Artist's Studio

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If you don't have an air conditioner and are experiencing extreme heat where you live, having a good fan is the next best thing!


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and search for terms like "heat" and "weather" to find more videos relating to hot weather. If you're experiencing intense sunny weather where you live, be sure and follow some good rules for safety in the sun. Thank you for learning English with Yabla and do your best to stay cool out there this summer!

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