Climatologist Warns of Temperature Changes in the Caribbean

Acting Head of the Climate Branch of the Meteorology Services Clifford Mahlung recently presented at a JIS Think Tank where he discussed a European Union/United Nations Environment Program-sponsored project aimed at helping to alleviate the effects of global warming on Jamaica and the Caribbean at large.

Unfortunately, global warming has led to a 0.5 degree change in temperature in the Caribbean. In this context, the climatologist stated that the increases in global temperatures lead to a rising of the sea levels and increased sea temperatures, which have caused problems in the Caribbean and other island states, with a devastating impact on our coral reefs. He explained that the increased temperatures cause the coral, which produce the white sand beaches of the Caribbean, to die. He also said that coral reefs provide protection against storm surges on small island states, which means that their destruction can have a devastating effect.

Mahlung further underlined that over 40 small island developing states (SIDS), including Jamaica, which add less than one percent of the emission gases contributing to global warming, are the most vulnerable to its damaging effects, including rising temperatures and sea levels and the destruction of coastlines, among others: “Small island developing states across the globe contribute less than one percent of the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere annually, and the developed countries account for 46 percent.” He explained that the problematic greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrofluorocarbons, among others.

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