Keeping it cool with heatwave alerts

With warmer weather ahead, Google wants to make sure you don’t get too hot this year.

What happened: A new heatwave alert system in Google Search will give users forecasts and warnings about extreme temperatures, along with recommendations to keep safe.

Why it matters: Heat waves are the deadliest natural disaster in Canada, and part of the problem is a lack of effective heat alert and response systems. Google’s alerts could help, offering users location-specific information and recommendations when they need it.

  • A government investigation found provincial agencies were slow to react to an extreme heat alert from the environment ministry in 2021, which killed 619 people.
  • Global searches for heatwave information hit a record high last July, and this year is expected to be particularly hot as we enter a new El Niño climate cycle.

Zoom out: The number of weather and climate-related disasters has increased fivefold over the past half-century, but the number of deaths from those events has fallen by two-thirds, thanks to advancements in engineering, forecasting, policymaking, and alert systems.—AP