An archway is all that remain of a property in Lytton following the fire on June 30 ,2021 that destroyed 90 per cent of the town. (Black Press Media photo)

An archway is all that remain of a property in Lytton following the fire on June 30 ,2021 that destroyed 90 per cent of the town. (Black Press Media photo)

Summerland student’s science project examines last year’s heat dome

Julia Mansiere’s project studies temperature data

A Summerland student will proceed to the Canada Wide Science Fair this spring.

Julia Mansiere’s project is titled, “Were Urban Heat Islands a Factor in the Deadliness of the Summer 2021 Heat Dome in British Columbia?”

From late June 20to mid-July 2021, an extreme heat wave affected much of western North America. This heat wave resulted in a temperature of 49.6 in Lytton, B.C., the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada. During this heat event, the death toll in Canada exceeded 800 people, including close to 600 in British Columbia alone.

READ ALSO: Nearly 600 people died due to summer heat waves: BC Coroners Service

READ ALSO: Evacuee fled barefoot from ferocious Lytton wildfire

“In my research, I came to learn that elderly people’s internal thermometers and cooling capabilities due to changes in their tissues and body systems were no longer able to keep them safe. But that was not the full story. Per capita, the death rates were starkly different across adjacent cities in B.C.,” she said. “Through thorough analysis of available data, I explored heat-island factors related to the different fatality rates.”

She said there is a correlation to urban density. She would like to examine the factors using more site-specific data rather than the weather information available at airports.

The project was entered in the YSC Virtual Regional Science Fair. A total of 11 projects from this fair will advance to the Virtual 2022 Canada-Wide Science Fair.

In previous years, in-person science fairs had been held in many parts of Canada, but some regional fairs were not held this year. The Central Okanagan Fair, which supports students from Kelowna to Penticton, did not proceed. Instead, Youth Science Canada offered a virtual science fair for students across Canada.

Instead of traditional cardboard backboards, information was presented in a digital format.

Mansiere’s project can be found online at https://projectboard.world/ysc/project/were-urban-heat-islands-a-factor-in-the-deadliness-of-the-summer-2021-heat-dome-in-british-columbia?rc=ykrlbblj.

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