The heat wave Zoe hit the city of Seville between July 24 and 27 and sent temperatures soaring to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius)
For the first time in the world, scientists in the city of Seville in southwestern Spain have named a heat wave. They are calling it Zoe.
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The heat wave Zoe hit the city of Seville between July 24 and 27 and sent temperatures soaring to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 degrees Celsius), USA Today reported. The scientists believe the new name will alert the public to extreme temperatures and warn them of the dangers, the newspaper quoted José María Martín Olalla, associate professor at Sevilla University, as saying.
The process of naming of heat waves is part of the pilot program proMETEO Sevilla Project that was officially launched in June. The program aims to rank heat waves and teach the public about them.
As per the system, heat events are sorted into three tiers, with each one triggering certain measures in the city’s emergency and disaster response plans. The emergency plans include the deployment of community health workers to check on vulnerable people and even keeping city pools open for longer hours.
The highest tier will be assigned to boost public awareness.
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Washington-based research centre and non-profit organisation Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center of the Atlantic Council is collaborating on the proMETEO Sevilla Project and has chosen Seville, a city of 700,000 in southern Spain, as its pilot location.
In the US, hurricanes have long received human names, but this is the first time a heat wave has been assigned an official name. While there is no single scientific definition of a heat wave, many countries use the term to describe periods of temperatures that are higher than local averages. This year, summer saw an unusually high number of heat waves across the northern hemisphere, including in India, China, Spain, France, Portugal, Iran and the US, Time magazine reported.
Heat waves can affect older individuals and people who do manual labour outdoors. A 2018 report by the World Health Organisation showed that between 2000 and 2016, the number of people exposed to extreme heat increased by 125 million each year.
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India reported 280 heat wave days between March 11 and May 18, 2022, a publication State of India’s Environment In figures, 2022 revealed. This is the highest in 12 years, Down to Earth reported quoting the publication. Sixteen states in the country faced heat wave-like conditions from March 11 to April 24.
Scientists involved in the proMETEO Sevilla plan to assign alternate female and male names in reverse alphabetical order for future heat events.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)