Caribbean everyday-living thrown off by climate change

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A report from Antigua’s Observer.

Caribbean residents should brace themselves for the “era of the unfamiliar” weather and natural disaster patterns which have already being manifested in the form of catastrophic hurricanes.

This message comes from climate change expert, Michael Taylor, Ph. D, physics lecturer and professor at the University of West Indies Mona.

During yesterday’s “Big Issues” programme, Taylor said, “the problem with this era, is that Caribbean living revolves around a familiar climate.”

“When we plant or reap, when we send kids on holiday from school, when we clean drains, we do it around what we expect the climate to be. But when the climate does not behave like it’s expected to, all of Caribbean life gets thrown off.”

Taylor who is also the head of the Climate Studies Group Mona explained that hurricanes are not the only “extreme events” that should concern countries like Antigua and Barbuda.

Based on signs and in checking records, Taylor said there are four major indicators of climate change across the region, with severity that makes them as relevant as the superstorms which hit Barbuda and Dominica.
He noted that the Caribbean has come out of a three-year region-wide drought which ended in 2016 and prior to that, there was another extreme drought in 2009 and 2010.

“This kind of extreme event and drought perhaps causes arguably more damage to our economies and our lifestyles than even sometimes a severe rainfall event,” Taylor said.

He made reference to historical records from the 50s which show the average temperature recorded in the region being consistent with the global patterns of “not only hotter days but hotter nights.”

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