The impact of heat waves on human and natural systems include decreased air quality, diminished crop yields, increased energy consumption, increased evapotranspiration, intensification of droughts, and—perhaps most concerning of all—direct effects on human health.
Heat stress during periods of high temperatures may also exacerbate health problems, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and cause life-threatening crises. Certain segments of the population (the poor, the elderly, little children) may therefore be especially susceptible to this health impact due to existing health conditions and lack of basic resources.
Although several Indian cities have heat-action plans in place, whereby authorities suggest and prescribe the public timely measures to minimize the impact of heat-waves, such actions are short-term (i.e. typically a few days in advance).
Given that climate-change aggravates heat-waves and with climate-change being a long term effect, adaptation measures need to be put in place now to minimize future heat-wave impacts. No-regret measures, meaning, adaptation measures that remain effective even in decades to come, therefore need to consider the evolution of climatic changes towards the future. This is what the climate-health information service of CHARISMA will enable.