‘Zoe’ becomes world’s first designated heat wave smart news

A firefighter stands in front of a forest fire

A firefighter battles wildfires near Zamora, northern Spain, during an extreme heat wave in Europe on July 18, 2022.
Miguel Riopa / AFP via Getty Images)

“Zoe,” the world’s first named heat wave, pushed temperatures past 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Seville, Spain, last week.

On the first day of summer this year, the city implemented its new ranking and naming system, similar to how tropical cyclones are classified. Heat waves will be divided into three levels based on specific criteria, each of which will receive a different response from the city, such as extending pool hours or deploying community health workers to check for vulnerable people, Ciara Nugent report of Time magazine. Heat waves in the highest category, Category 3, will receive names. After Zoe, the heat waves will be called Yago, Xenia, Wenslaw and Vega.

“As a direct effect of climate change, extreme heat waves are becoming more frequent and devastating,” former Seville mayor Juan Espadas said in a statement last year. “Seville is proud to be the first city in the world to develop and implement a heat wave naming and classification system that aims to save thousands of lives and we encourage other cities in the world to do the same. We do.”

Although there is no worldwide consensus on what exactly causes a heat wave, Time Reports that countries use the term to refer to time periods with higher than average temperatures.

Naming the heat waves will help create a “culture of awareness,” said the statement, said Cathy Baughman McLeod, senior vice president and director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsh-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, which helped design Seville’s system.

“Heat waves have been dubbed the ‘silent killer’ for a reason: they wreak unseen havoc on our economies, prey on the most vulnerable members of society, and kill more people than any other climate-driven threat.” kill,” she said. “Yet the dangers they pose are greatly underestimated and seriously misunderstood.”

The Zoe followed a severe heat wave in Europe last month, which broke records and killed an estimated 510 people across Spain between July 10 and July 16. Time, High temperatures also sparked wildfires across the continent.

In the US, heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths. Some groups in California have pushed for the state to begin naming its heat waves as an immediate help to them. Greek scientists have proposed a similar system.

“We believe that people will be more prepared to face the upcoming weather event when the event is named,” said Costas Lagouvardos, research director at the National Observatory of Athens. Observer Last year. “They will become more aware of the potential problems that may be caused to their lives and their possessions.”

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