Siesta may become part of British life

August 13, 2005

The siesta -- a long midday break possibly including a nap -- may be become a way of life in Britain, if climate change results in warmer summers.

Research by Britain's weather office, scheduled to be published later this year, suggests if humans continue releasing greenhouse gases at the current rate, southern England could be baking in temperatures of up to 107 degrees F by 2100, reported the Daily Telegraph Saturday.

The average temperature in Britain is expected to increase by up to 9 degrees F, and rainfall is expected to halve, during the latter half of this century.

"One simple countermeasure is to avoid exertion. You see this in southern Europe where people take siestas," said Bill Keatinge, of University College in London. "Putting your feet up in the afternoon and working later into the evening is very effective."

The siesta, believed to have originated in Portugal, is a mechanism to protect people in warm climates from the fatal effects of over-exertion in high temperatures.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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