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Dominican Republic Significantly Impacted by Climate Change

Climate change is a topic that doesn’t recognize borders, it affects every region in the world, including the Dominican Republic. Science has shown human developments affected the environment and consequently negatively impacted various environments such as the economy, industry, and public health after the Industrial Revolution. Every atmospheric phenomenon has multiplied in size and frequency due to rising temperatures and greenhouse emissions. Statistically, the Dominican Republic is ranked the 8th most vulnerable country affected by climate change, this is due to extensive periods of drought and periods of flooding. The increments of these climate change variabilities are treated with normality. However, climate change outcomes are completely abnormal.

The Dominican Republic experiences extreme climate variability with low and high temperatures. In 2022, the phenomenon of La Nina decreased temperatures and increased rains in the Dominican Republic. During the same year, metereologists recorded a -6-degree temperature in parts of the island. Considering DR is located in the tropics, -6-degree temperatures are unusual and alarming.  In 2021, Hurricane Tedy inundated the East Coast of DR. Samana and suffered floodwaters. The flood highlighted the growing issue of coastal erosion, as the sea trespassed further inland, leading to the disappearance of significant portions of the Dominican Republic’s coastlines. Also, the ‘polar ice melt’ is another phenomenon affecting global countries in which melting ice, rising sea levels, and ocean water invades coastal land.  Seasonal drought is more frequent. Heatwaves are increasing in frequency, and the median temperature in the island has risen. As a consequence, Wildfires are more frequent. A spark from a natural or anthropogenic cause can result in a forest fire. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is associated with droughts and temperature increments resulting in potential fires and environmental deforestation. El Nino causes the weather to be drier, therefore amplifying combustion leading to a heightened risk of wildfires causing permanent damage in forestry and vegetation. Extreme precipitations are a consequence of high temperatures in the Dominican Republic. Blazing hot temperatures are a detriment to all living creatures, agriculture, economics, and health environments. Another factor influenced by climate change is the Saharan dust period that has extended longer than before. Over the years, These natural disasters have become more aggressive, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.  It is no longer a matter of global warming but a climate crisis.

The health of Dominicans is at risk due to rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns. Heatwaves directly affect heat-related diseases. Meanwhile, changes in precipitation cultivate environments breeding for mosques, dengue fever, and malaria diseases. Furthermore, these climatic variations can compromise water quality and supply, heightening the threat of waterborne illnesses. Moreover, high sea temperatures compromise marine ecosystems. The increase in sea temperature damaged the genesis of the planet’s biggest and most important food chain.  Climatic risks directly affect agriculture and tourism in the Dominican Republic through various factors such as hurricanes, floods, deforestation, drought, and landslides by decreasing seed and labor productivity, challenges in exporting produce, impacts road deterioration or blockages, affect scarcity of raw materials due to flooding and erosion in extraction areas, as well as reduces visibility impacting transportation and machinery operations.

The Dominican Republic is witnessing a climate crisis, there is a progressive warming of the planet. The Dominican Republic is experiencing a climate emergency with a rise in temperatures. Climate variations are worsening weather occurrences in the country resulting in increased hurricanes, floods, and droughts that jeopardize farming, infrastructure, and coastal areas. The country’s tourism sector and diverse coastal ecosystems are also at risk due, to rising sea levels. Climate change incremental factors are being looked out for. The outcomes and consequences of climate change are completely abnormal. Climate change affects our ability to achieve sustainable development goals. Peace and security historically are conflicts that occur due to limited resources, or resources obtained in an unsustainable manner. The climate change crisis cannot be mitigated with vaccines or isolation measures. It’s a persistent phenomenon that demands proactive adaptation and concerted efforts to reduce emissions.

image: https://www.preventionweb.net/collections/health-impacts-climate-change?page=5



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