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Caribbean Islands Should Prepare for Climate Change by CityTech Blogger David Perez Ramos

According to National Centers for Environmental Information (NOAA), average, global temperatures at the surface of the earth has warmed from 12.7°C to 13.75°C (1.05°C higher) since the start of the 20th century. Other evidence that shows global temperature has increased since the 19th century is the rise in sea level of 10 to 25 centimeters. This is due to the melting of mountain glaciers and the expansion of seawater caused by a rise in temperature.

The accumulation of Greenhouse Gases (GHG’s) which are primarily carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere are causing a warming effect on our planet. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels to produce energy accounts for 80 to 85 percent of the carbon dioxide that is added to the atmosphere. Developed countries such as United States, China, and Europe, are the main producers of greenhouse gases. Industrialized countries may not suffer too much from global warming because they have resources to produce procedures and strategies to prevent damage from sea level increase. However, small developing islands such as the Caribbean may suffer greater consequences due to the expansion of seawater.

Islands in the Caribbean territory such as the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, and Barbados are in danger and can suffer great damage due to climate change impacts such as sea level rise. Caribbean territories are one of the most vulnerable to tropical storms. With warmer seawater, tropical storms form and intensify more often due to more moisture which produces more rain resulting in disastrous precipitation and flooding in these small countries. Countries like the Dominican Republic and Haiti have a large, poor population and government help almost never reaches them. Due to this, people are forced to build-up their own houses with no engineering standards to withstand tropical storms and flooding. Every time a hurricane passes through these undeveloped countries, a lot of lives are lost and countless homes are destroyed from heavy  rainfall and strong flooding.

Now that the world is experiencing more natural disasters than before due to climate change provoking more natural disasters, it is time for these small countries and islands to try to get more resources and preparations to prepare for future natural disasters such as hurricanes.

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2 Responses

  1. Nice job David! You captured many of the impacts hurricanes have on developing countries, and the impacts climate change has on intensifying weather. You might consider looking at how relief efforts from countries like the US, charities, and maybe even the United Nations help (or don’t help) situations in some Caribbean countries. It might even be useful to check out US-based news. I noticed that many broadcasts focused on the problems for the US mainland, not even Puerto Rico or other islands. ‘Do we care?’ would be a good question to ask. Just some thoughts…

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