Google is introducing new extreme heat alerts in Search that are designed to surface information to help people stay safe during heat waves, the company announced on Tuesday. The new heat alerts will roll out in the coming months.
Now, when people search for information on extreme heat, they will see information about when a heat wave is expected to begin and end. The alert will also surface tips on staying cool, while also warning users about related health concerns that they should be aware of. All of this information will be prominently displayed in Search results. The search giant has partnered with the Global Heat Health Information Network to ensure that the information it surfaces in the heat alerts is accurate.
“We’ll be launching a new feature to raise awareness about extreme heat to keep people safe, cool and healthy,” said Hema Budaraju, Google’s senior director of product for health and search, during a briefing with reporters. “Soon, you will see dedicated features highlighting relevant news and recommended actions and local information during a severe heat wave. The new heat alert is one of the many ways we’re continuing to update search to help people find timely, authoritative and actionable information when they need it the most.”
Google has been displaying alerts for things like wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes and more for several years, and will now be doing the same for heat waves. The company notes that the introduction of the feature comes as search interest in heat waves reached a record high globally in June 2022.
The company also announced that Tree Canopy, a tool that combines AI and aerial imagery so cities can understand their current tree coverage and better plan urban forestry initiatives, has expanded from 14 cities to nearly 350 cities globally — including Atlanta, Baltimore, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Mexico City, Paris, Sydney, Toronto and more. Google plans to expand the tool to thousands of additional cities this year.
Today’s announcement comes a day after Google said it was introducing new ways for users to verify information on Search. The search giant is launching new features called “Perspectives” and “About this author,” while also expanding some of its current tools, including “About this result.”
Two weeks ago, Google announced that it was making it easier for people to find affordable healthcare centers near them in Search. If a medical clinic offers affordable care, you will soon see a label that reads “Free or low-cost care” under its name in search results.