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  • Laksh Katara

TRISHNA: Combatting Extreme Heat Waves

In current times, India has been experiencing severe and sudden heat waves. Delhi, its capital city, has recorded its highest ever experienced temperatures in recent years. During summers last year, the temperatures in Delhi had risen up to 45°C whereas this year, the increased heating of surface land has caused temperatures to fluctuate in the range of 45-50 °C. 

The extremes of temperature not only cause immense stress and strain on essential resources such as water, transportation and food but also adversely impact the healthcare of the population with hospitals being filled with patients affected by heatstroke and related illnesses.

Responding to the pressing obstacles and challenges faced, the Indian Space Agency, ISRO in collaboration with the French Space Agency CNES has taken an enormous step towards progress. Aimed at understanding and mitigating the effects of increasing surface temperatures, the two space agencies will be launching a dedicated satellite, TRISHNA (Thermal Infra-Red Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural Resource Assessment) to monitor the Earth’s surface temperatures.

As a much-needed recording, the satellite will help in the wide-ranging assessment of urban heat islands and also address critical water and food security challenges, focusing on the impacts of human-induced climate change and efficient water resource management through careful monitoring and is scheduled to launch in 2025

Considering the improvement that launching the satellite is said to bring, this mission is a well sought out initiative and a crucial development, especially in light of the recent extreme temperature fluctuations that have significantly affected Northern regions of India. For a city like Delhi, where extreme heat and temperature rises have become a common sight, the data which this satellite provides to scientists can be vital in bringing about an extensive change. Monitoring surface temperatures of the city in real-time will allow more accurate and efficiently timed weather forecasts indicating a heatwave. This would permit the city administration to issue early warnings, mobilize and gather resources, and implement heat action plans efficiently.

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