What is a heat wave? Enumerate the ill effects of a heat wave on living things.

A Heat Wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature. It occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India.
�Characteristics of a Heat Wave:

  • Heat Waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July
  • When actual maximum temperature remains 45*C or more irrespective of normal maximum temperature, heat waves should be declared
  • A heat wave is caused by a high pressure system that hovers over an area
  • The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death

Effects of a Heat wave:

  • Heat stress causes dehydration and loss of body salt
  • It can also lead to failure in people with heart conditions
  • When the core body temperature rises beyond 104 F, organs fail. The gut leaks toxins into the body, creating an inflammatory response called heat stroke

Higher daily peak temperatures and longer, more intense heat waves are becomingly increasingly frequent globally due to climate change. India too is feeling the impact of climate change in terms of increased instances of heat waves which are more intense in nature with each passing year.


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