Climatic change will impact Dominican Republic tourism, coasts, a new study by Walter Vergara and Seraphine Haeussling, sponsored by the World Bank, warns. The study claims that heightened intensity of extreme atmospheric events as the result of climatic change will impact tourism infrastructure and coastal erosion in Dominican Republic. The authors are particularly concerned with the condition of the coral reefs in the east and northwest. “In the east and northwest there are wide coastal platforms of little depth, but the turbidity, brought about by sediments from the mainland, prevents the formation of reefs in the rest of the coast”, claims Vergara, a chemical engineer known for his work on environmental issues.
The study places tourism, which is 13% of the Gross Domestic Product in the Dominican Republic, among the sectors most vulnerable to climate change. It notes that added to the coastal erosion and the deterioration of the reefs is the bleaching of the corals as the result of rising sea temperatures. Their analysis looks at the impact of climate change on the availability of sand, on diving tourism, and on the character of the reefs as a natural barrier that protects coasts. The environmental experts predict average temperature increases from 26.2 degrees Celsius in 2010; to 26.9 degrees in 2030; 27.7 degrees in 2050 and 29.6 degrees for 2100.