Increase of Heat: Major Hassle

Increase of Heat: Major Hassle

Information Technology

Increase of Heat: Major Hassle

Summary:

All over the globe, climate change has been a major issue, especially after 2000s. Hot days are becoming more common and hotter over the world. According to statistics, in India heat waves are increasing by five-six events every year. This immoderate heat is taking many lives. Let’s talk about it and make an effort to comprehend so that we can take action.

Reasons:

As we all know “Global warming” is the main reason behind almost every environmental issue. The burning of fossil fuels, logging of forests, and raising livestock all have a rising impact on the climate and temperature of the planet. In a nutshell, it tells us who is responsible for such weather conditions.

Burning fossil fuels, cutting down forest, powering buildings, excessive use of personal transportation, air conditioners, refrigerators, aerosol, foam blowing agents causes gases like CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) which is depleting the ozone layer. The stratospheric ozone depletion when CFCs persist in the stratosphere, they split oxygen atoms off ozone (O3) to form oxygen (O2).

This increases the greenhouse effect and causes global warming by adding a significant amount of greenhouse gases to those that are already present in the atmosphere.

The major greenhouse gases are water vapour, which contributes about 36-70% of the greenhouse effect, carbon dioxide (CO2), which contributes 9-26%, methane (CH4), which contributes 4-9%, and ozone (O3), which contributes 3-7%. 

Meaning of Heat Wave:

Firstly we have to understand what is heat wave. It is defined based on the temperature thresholds over a region in terms of actual temperature or deviation to normal. In simple words, it is a condition of air temperature which becomes tragic to human body.

Heat wave is considered if maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40oC or more for Plains and at least 30oC or more for Hilly regions.

In India, heat wave mostly happens from March through June, with a few uncommon instances even occurring in July. May is when the heat wave in India reaches its height. This year in Kolkata, during mid April the temperature rose up to 43oC which led the government to close all the educational institutes. 

Effects of Heat waves on Environment:

Without a corresponding rise in precipitation, heat wave can cause water shortages and increased stress for plants, especially in desert areas. As a result, there will be less plant growth, which is the foundation for energy production and the food chain, and a general drying up of the landscape.

In some parts of Europe, heat wave damaged trees, accelerated leaf fall, and converted carbon-sink landscapes into sources of carbon, releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere than was taken in.

Forest fires, which now frequently accompany heat wave, can start and spread quickly under these hot, dry circumstances. It burned more than 15 million hectares of forest, vegetation, and peat land, and crucially in areas devoid of fire-tolerant species. This was the hottest summer in 130 years.

Heat waves can hasten glacier melt and dry up shallow aquatic ecosystems. Five times greater than the typical yearly loss, the European heat wave caused a 10% loss in glacier mass. The French Alps saw similar effects in 2019. Such deep permafrost warming and thawing could eventually lead to landslides and rock collapses, extending the detrimental effects on the environment. 

Heat Wave Effecting Economic Condition:

During heat wave, worker productivity is lower in many economic sectors, particularly in agriculture and construction. It is estimated that 2% of all working hours are lost annually due to either workers being unable to function in the heat or having to work more slowly. By 2030, it is anticipated that lost productivity from workplace heat stress will cost $4.2 trillion annually, primarily in poorer nations, increasing inequality.

Hotter temperatures are expected to have a greater impact on the agricultural sector, where 940 million people make their living, pushing workers, crops, and cattle past their physiological heat and drought tolerances. Loss of workers, poorer harvests for farmers, higher prices for consumers, and other negative effects will occur.

How Heat Wave is affecting humans?

The most serious heat-related condition is heat stroke. It happens when the body loses the ability to regulate its temperature. The sweating process fails, body temperature increases quickly, and the body is unable to cool itself.

Between 1979 and 2018, the death rate as a direct result of exposure to heat generally hovered between 0.5 and 2 deaths per million people, with spikes in certain years.

In India, heat waves have claimed the lives of almost 6,500 people since 2010, and several cities experienced record-breaking temperatures last year. According to scientists, climate change is causing South Asia’s hot spells to become harsher and more frequent.

Precautions to Stay Safe:

Since the heat is rising rapidly, these are the small precautions one take to avoid health issues caused by heat.

Avoid being outside in the sun, especially between noon and three in the afternoon.

Drink enough water and as often as you can, even if you’re not thirsty.

When the temperature is high outside, stay away from physical activity.

Avoid dehydrating substances including alcohol, tea, coffee, and carbonated soft beverages.

Eat fresh food and stay away from high-protein foods.

Necessary Measures:

 In order to lessen the detrimental effects of excessive heat, the government has started the Heat-Wave Action Plan seeks to establish a framework for the execution, coordination, and assessment of extreme heat response operations in Indian cities and towns.

The goal of the heat-wave action plan is to get people and communities involved in preventing avoidable health issues for their loved ones during periods of extremely hot weather. This strategy might be helpful to broadcast media and alerting organizations as well. General, social, and economic services may also be disrupted by intense and protracted heat waves. To prepare for and respond to heat waves locally, government agencies will therefore need to collaborate closely with the departments of health and other relevant entities to develop a long-term strategic plan.

Even only one person can make an effort to change the world. Therefore we all should start taking care of Mother Nature by not wasting natural goods like cutting down forests, burning fossil fuels, wasting water and so on.

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