New Delhi: The blistering heat wave in America is caused by a high-pressure system that traps hot air and prevents clouds from forming. This system has been affecting a large part of the country for several days, breaking temperature records and posing health risks to millions of people. The heat wave is also exacerbated by climate change, which has made such events more frequent, longer-lasting, and more intense. The heat wave has also contributed to wildfires in some areas, such as Canada and California, where dry conditions and strong winds have fueled the flames. The heat wave is expected to last until the weekend, with some relief possible in the northern states.
The US is taking various measures to fight the heat wave, such as:
- Opening cooling centers and providing water and ice to vulnerable populations, such as seniors and homeless people.
- Developing comprehensive heat response plans that include forecasting and monitoring, education and awareness, and heat wave response.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting energy efficiency to mitigate climate change, which is a major drivers of heat waves.
- Protecting or modifying infrastructure to withstand high temperatures and prevent disruptions of city services and electricity systems
- Implementing heat islands reduction strategies, such as green or cool roofs, cool pavements, or increased vegetation and trees, to lower urban temperatures.
- Advising people to avoid going out in the sun during peak hours, stay hydrated, wear light clothing, and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms of heat-related illness.
- Creating plans to reduce water usage in areas affected by drought and wildfires due to the heat wave.