Sweden launches heatwave alert system

Sweden launches heatwave alert system
Sweden's meteorological institute has introduced a system to warn Swedes of heatwaves, saying prolonged spells of warm weather have seen increased mortality rates across the country.

Since 2011, SMHI has worked in conjunction with researchers at Umeå University who found a ten-percent increase in Sweden’s mortality rate when temperatures rise above 27C for more than three days. A further ten percent more people than usual die when there is a three-day stretch of temperatures above 30C.

“Sweden does of course have a relatively cool climate, but the sensitivity to heat is also bigger,” SMHI spokesman Joakim Langner said in a statement.

“That is why it’s important to find criteria that are appropriate for residents in Sweden.”

He said that in the future, whenever the institute predicts three consecutive days of temperatures reaching above 30 degrees, SMHI will issue a heat warning.

“Heatwaves can pose big health risks, with the elderly and sick people at greatest risk in extreme heat,” Langner said.

“The health care and care sector in particular need to be able to prepare for heatwaves.”

TT/The Local/at

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