The success of high temperature alerts to combat heat waves

A tool for climate resilience and facing tomorrow’s changes

During the summer period of this 2023 – from June to September – a pilot test of an alert system for high temperatures and heat waves has been implemented, intended to inform citizens of the metropolitan area of the city of Barcelona about the risk of high temperatures, particularly to users in vulnerable situations, and to give tools to adapt and face the heat inside home.

This is an action carried out as part of the project Cooltorise, financed by the H2020 program of the European Union, on summer energy poverty, in which the ABD and Ecoserveis Associations participate.

The system worked based on local weather forecasts and was programmed for activation on days with forecast temperatures above 33.5 ºC during the day, or higher than 25 ºC during the night (the so-called torrid nights). In these cases, it was when the messaging protocols were activated that contained domestic tips to combat the heat, as well as relevant information about the services offered by the city to deal with high temperatures (Climate Refuge Network, PAE, etc. ).

Very positive results

The implemented device has made it possible to send messages warning about heat waves to a database of more than 3,000 people, delivering a total of 15,000 e-mails.

The messages have been very well received. On average, 36.18% of the people who received the messages read them, indicating that more than 1000 people could benefit from the information provided by the service in each alert.



Of the information sent, the link that has had the most queries through the alert system has been the one referring to the Network of Climate Refuges, especially when the alert was sent for the mid-August heat wave.

 How hot has it been this summer?

Although it is true that the temperatures have not been as high as in the summer of 2022, we can affirm that the summer of 2023 has also presented temperatures above the climatic average.

We highlight the night of August 23, 2023, when the temperature did not fall below 29.5°C in Barcelona. According to the Fabra Observatory, this has been the historical minimum temperature record of the last 100 years.

Below we share a compilation of the maximum and minimum temperatures recorded by the Fabra Observatory during the summer period of this year, where the high temperatures recorded are observed:



An opportunity to face climate change in urban areas

The climate alert system of the Cooltorise project has made it possible to test a new service for the climate adaptation and resilience of the families and citizens of Barcelona. This experience has had positive results that prepare the way to continue developing tools to empower citizens with decisive information to combat the effects of climate change in the city of Barcelona. So, we hope that tools like these can be implemented in other municipalities for use for the benefit of citizens and vulnerable groups.

For more information on the alert system and other summer energy poverty mitigation activities carried out by the Cooltorise project, you can consult the website: