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Global Heat Wave Impacts, A 2024 Analysis

Cam Speck

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In April 2024, several areas from India to the Philippines faced severe heat waves, leading to record breaking temperatures and urgent actions by governments. This detailed report investigates the reasons behind these harsh weather conditions and their effects on communities.

Heatwave Conditions Across India

In April in India, extreme heat has particularly hit the southern and southeastern coastal regions hard. During this month, these areas along with the northern plains were so hot that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had to issue many warnings about heat waves. The IMD defines a heatwave in plains when temperatures climb to 40 degrees Celsius or if they rise 4.5 degrees above typical levels.

  • Mild Heatwave: Defined as temperatures rising 3 degrees Celsius higher than average seasonal highs.
  • Typical Summer Heatwaves: Characterized by temperature increases ranging from 3 to 5 degrees Celsius above the usual.
  • Extreme Heatwave: Noted when temperatures climb more than 6 degrees above the seasonal norm.
  • Core Heatwave Zone: Includes central, northern, and peninsular India, prone to annual

This year’s extreme heat is primarily caused by the El Niño phenomenon, which started changing weather patterns around June 2023. This situation is worsened by strong anticyclone systems stationed over southern India, which amplify heat conditions by compressing air as it moves downward towards the earth.

Response and Impact in the Philippines

In response to similar severe heat issues, the Philippine government closed public schools and transitioned to online classes, aiming to protect students from heat related health hazards. During this time, a strike from jeepney drivers further affected transportation, complicating matters during this hot period.

  • Heat Index Warning, Manila’s heat index might soar up to 45 degrees Celsius.
  • Government Actions, Schools shifted operations online amid the crisis.,
  • School closures and public health notices advise less sun exposure.

Dense cities like Manila face severe heat and poor infrastructure. Residents often escape the heat by using polluted water bodies, despite health risks.

Broader Southeast Asian Heatwave Trends

The intense heat waves hit not only India and the Philippines but all of Southeast Asia. Rising temperatures have led to a spike in cooling needs. This has put pressure on electrical systems and increased natural gas buying to prevent power cuts.

  • Thailand’s Record Temperatures: Some areas report temperatures higher than any recorded since 1958.
  • Energy Consumption: Thailand has seen record breaking energy demands, according to their energy authorities.

To address this growing issue, countries like: Thailand has started emergency actions, such as importing more natural gas to make sure it has enough power for air conditioning and other ways to stay cool.

Conclusion

The severe heat waves of April 2024 emphasise the critical need for effective methods to reduce the effects of high temperatures. These methods should improve city structures to handle heat better, raise community awareness and readiness, and bring climate issues into policies for public health and city planning.
With global temperatures increasing, these heat waves are a harsh reminder of the problems caused by climate change. Countries must adjust and get ready for these extreme weather events that will likely happen more often and with greater intensity in the future.

Cam’s mission is to empower and allow people to perform better at everything they do while developing the confidence and mindset to become their best selves. Leading by example in every way, Cam shows us that nothing can stand in your way when you prioritize.

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