A heatwave is a period of hot weather that can continue for two or more days (SciJincs). The temperatures must be extreme, that is, “outside the historical averages of a specific area.” Heatwaves are the result of trapped air when high- pressure systems are forced downward. (SciJincs). The force prevents air from rising near the ground and acts as a cap trapping warm ground air.(Scijincs). Without rising air, especially in the absence of rain, the temperatures increase.
Heatwaves may seem less interesting than other natural disasters like hurricanes, tornados, floods, or thunderstorms, but they kill many people all over the world including in Bangladesh. According to “Defining and Predicting Heatwaves in Bangladesh,” at least 3,800 people died in 2008 from extreme heat waves which continued for 8 days. An estimated two-thirds of the people who died were 65 or older, which reveals that the elderly are especially at risk of dying from heatwaves.
During heat waves, there are reductions in economic productivity around the world and the loss of lives (State of the Planet). People with “heat-related” health problems often work outdoors as well as in industries. Almost half of Bangladeshis work in agriculture; many work in factories and garment industries which employ more than 4 million people, half of whom are women (State of the Planet). Bangladesh also lacks the awareness of heatwaves; poverty is prevalent and many people spend their lives on the streets. As a result, people suffer more during heat waves. As an applied mathematics major, I intend to become an earth data scientist. I will be analyzing data related to natural disasters to find solutions for heatwaves by analyzing its impacts from relevant sources. In 2008, I experienced a terrible heatwave in Bangladesh. Many children, the elderly, and others suffering from heart diseases and high blood pressure lost their lives to the extremity of the heatwave.
Heatwaves occur often in the United States. During the1960s an estimated average of two heatwaves occurred each year; presently, more than six occur on average annually. (GlobalChange.org). Americans are more aware of heatwaves than Bangladeshis, so they take more precautionary actions. As relayed by the article, “How to Stay Healthy During a Heat Wave, “people should keep themselves hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid drinking fluids that contain sugar, and stay indoors where temperatures are in the normal range, during a heat wave. It is imperative for the Bangladeshi government to raise awareness about what to do during heat waves.
- What is Heat Wave?
- Defining and Predicting Heat Waves in Bangladesh. By Elisabeth Gawthrop, 7 August 2017.
- Deadly heat wave to hit Bangladesh to this century, 3 August, 2017
- S. heat wave frequency and length are increasing https://www.globalchange.gov/browse/indicators/us-heat-waves
- How to Stay Healthy During a Heat Wave. De Elizabeth, 20 July 2019.