Why is it in the news?
In 2024, India is scheduled to launch its own heat index to quantify the impact of heat on its population and generate impact-based heat wave alerts for specific locations.
About Heat Index:
- Heat index, or apparent temperature, gauges how the temperature feels to humans.
- It considers relative humidity along with air temperature.
Calculation of Heat Index
- Robert Steadman developed a complex formula in 1979 to calculate heat index.
- Factors considered: dew point, atmospheric moisture, and a typical adult human’s characteristics.
Other Heat Index Systems
- Some countries use their own indices, like Canada’s Humidex.
Importance of measuring Heat Index
- Humidity affects the heat index during heatwaves.
- High humidity can lead to heat stress and related health issues.
- Heat index provides a more accurate measure of heat’s impact on humans compared to air temperature alone.
Global Efforts to measure and address Extreme Heat
- Countries like India are developing their own heat indices.
- Preparing for climate change’s increased heat challenges.
- Investment in early warnings, work schedule changes, and cooling solutions is crucial.