Context: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced plans to launch a composite index next year to measure the impact of heat on India’s population.
About Heat Index:
|What is the heat index?||The heat index is the combination of air temperature and relative humidity, it is the measure of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.|
|Aim of the new index||To quantify the impact of heat on its population and generate impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations.|
|Parameters to be used||Temperature, humidity, wind, and duration of exposure|
|Significance||The analysis will help generate heat hazard scores, which will be used as thresholds to issue impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations.|
|Heat Waves in India||According to IMD data, there was a 24% increase in the number of heat waves during 2010-2019 compared to 2000-2009. Between 2000 and 2019, the mortality rate for tropical cyclones decreased by 94% whereas it increased by 62% for heat waves. Heat waves is not notified as a natural disaster at the national level in the country.|
|Impact of heat waves||Heat waves cause cramps, exhaustion, stress, heat stroke and very severe heat waves even lead to death. The elderly, children, and people with heart and respiratory problems, kidney diseases and psychiatric disorders are particularly affected. Extreme periods of high temperatures can lead to a significant reduction in crop yields and cause reproductive failure in many crops.|