Climate change has Seville so hot it’s started naming heat waves like hurricanes

The city of Seville is trying something new to raise awareness about climate change and save lives. As oppressive heat waves are a daily occurrence in Europe and other parts of the world, the Spanish metropolis has started to give them names. The first, Zoe, arrived this week, bringing with it expected daily highs in excess of 109 degrees Fahrenheit (or 43 degrees Celsius).

As points out that there is no single scientific definition of a heat wave. Most countries use the term to describe periods of temperature higher than historical and seasonal norms for a given area. Seville’s new system categorizes these events into three tiers, with names reserved for the most serious and an escalating communal response tied to each tier. The city will label future heatwaves in reverse alphabetical order, followed by Yago, Xenia, Wenceslao and Vega.

It’s a system similar to organizations like the US National Hurricane Center, which has been used for decades to raise awareness of upcoming tropical storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. The idea is that when given a name, people are more likely to take a threat seriously and act accordingly.

“This new method aims to raise awareness of these deadly effects of climate change and ultimately save lives,” said Kathy Baughman McLeod, director of the think tank that helped develop the Seville system . Naming heatwaves might also help some people realize that we’re no longer dealing with occasional “unusual” weather events: they’re the by-product of a warming planet.

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Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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