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Hot weather will persist into the new year

December 28, 2023

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – It was extremely hot in the Caribbean in 2023 and the projections are that the heat will continue into the new year.

Climatologist at the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Dr. Cédric Van Meerbeeck, says even though the Caribbean is accustomed to heat, higher temperatures are negatively impacting residents of the region.

“So it’s time to stop thinking that the only thing about our climate that affects us is rain, flooding and hurricanes,” he said, amid concerns that over the coming months, the Pacific will very likely transition into El Niño while ocean temperatures in and around the Caribbean are expected to be well above-average.

El Niño refers to a warming of the ocean surface, or above-average sea surface temperatures, in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

The last 12 months were the hottest the earth has ever recorded, according to a report by Climate Central, a nonprofit science research group.

It said burning gasoline, coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels that release planet-warming gases like carbon dioxide, and other human activities, caused the unnatural warming.

Over the course of the year, 7.3 billion people, or 90 per cent of humanity, endured at least 10 days of high temperatures that were made three times more likely because of climate change.

On average, Jamaica for example, experienced high temperatures made four times more likely by climate change during the last 12 months, making it the country where climate change was most powerful at work.

By Peter Richards

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