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.

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