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What causes a Heat Wave?

The 21st century witnesses the abnormal increase of atmospheric temperature due to the overexploitation of the environment through deforestation, high consumption of fossil fuel etc. The heat wave has great potential and more dangerous as compare to other natural phenomenon like hurricanes, lightning, and tornadoes. In this article, we are given a short note on the concept, definition, causes and impact of heat waves.
Apr 29, 2019 18:54 IST
What causes a Heat Wave?

The variation of temperature and light is equally important because without heat and light the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rocks. Earth is the only planet that uses the Sun’s light as useful as a source of energy. It has a suitable climate for the existence of all forms of life because of moderate amount of carbon dioxide, which is the driving factor for the survival of life forms.

But 21st century witnesses the abnormal increase of atmospheric temperature due to the overexploitation of the environment through deforestation, high consumption of fossil fuel etc.

What is a heat wave?

A heat wave is a hot weather phenomenon which is accompanied by the high temperature and high humidity that causes prolonged period of abnormally hot weather. It can be measured by comparing the usual weather in the area and relative to normal temperatures for the season.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the term ‘heat wave’ refers to the situation when the daily maximum temperature of more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5 °C.

What causes a heat wave?

A heat wave is formed when static high pressure generated in the upper atmosphere over a region for several days up to several weeks. This static high pressure generates a hot mass of air, which is stagnant for many days and week, which resulted the trapping of more heat that also reduce the convention currents. The high pressure acts as a barrier and forces the mass of air to sink to the surface of the land that prevents heat to rise.

This hot mass of air accumulates only heat and humidity without any trace of precipitation that causes abnormally high temperatures. It is very often during the summer season, from May to November in the northern hemisphere.

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Impact of Heat Wave

The heat wave has great potential and more dangerous as compare to other natural phenomenon like hurricanes, lightning, and tornadoes. The impacts of the heat wave are given below:

1. If the body temperature of living creature is lower than external temperature or atmospheric temperature, then it is very often to get heat stroke, and heat cramps. During this situation body is not able to regulate and maintain the optimal temperature.

2. Under this condition static hot mass of air trapped all the pollutant and harmful chemicals below the layer of hot air which decreases the air quality that causes airborne diseases.

3. The abnormal hot temperature cause drought like situation. It drains the moisture content from the vegetation which causes bushfires and forestfires.

4. The excessive hotness of the atmosphere also affects the infrastructure. For example- Hot atmospheric temperature can crack the roads, burst the waterlines and led to the explosion of a transformer.

5. Aircraft performance decreases at high temperatures.

6. The high temperature can damage the ground surface of the airport.

7. The excessive heat stresses the vehicle cooling systems which could have negative impact on ground operations, etc.

9. The excessive hotness of atmosphere reduces the human productivity and performance. It will also increase stress level that endorses the conflict.

10. The events like extreme weather can also boost the phenomenon of Global warming. The global warming impact the ozone layer which protect the Earth from the harmful sunrays. If global warming will increase then global temperature will increase and increase temperature disturb the global weather pattern of the Earth.

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