Since 2013, Jamaica’s Met Office has been using its Climate Predictability Tool (CPT) to forecast ‘below average’ rainfall or drought across the island. The tool has allowed this northern Caribbean island to accurately predict several dry periods and droughts, including its most destructive episode in 2014 when an estimated one billion dollars in agricultural losses were incurred due to crop failures and wild fires caused by the exceptionally dry conditions.
Caribbean scientists say fishermen are already seeing the effects of climate change, so for a dozen or so years they’ve been designing systems and strategies to reduce the impacts on the industry.
There were surprised gasps when University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor John Agard told journalists at an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meeting in late November 2016 that mosquitoes were not only living longer, but were “breeding in septic tanks underground”.
On Nov. 30 last year, a new high-performance ‘Super Computer’ was installed at the University of the West Indies (UWI) during climate change week. Dubbed SPARKS - short for the Scientific Platform for Applied Research and Knowledge Sharing - the computer is already churning out the ‘big data’ Caribbean small island states (SIDS) need to accurately forecast and mitigate the effects of climate change on the region.
By year’s end, Jamaica will add 115 mega watts (MW) of renewable capacity to the power grid, in its quest to reduce energy costs and diversify the energy mix in electricity generation to 30 per cent by 2030.
On a very dry November 2013, Jamaica’s Meteorological Service made its first official drought forecast when the newly developed Climate Predictability Tool (CPT) was used to predict a high probability of below average rainfall in the coming three months.
Jimmi Jones and wife Sandra Lee’s fish farm in Belize City is unique. His fish tanks supply water and nutrients for his vegetable garden needs and the plants filter the water that is recycled back to the tanks.
Residents of Rocky Point, a sleepy fishing village on Jamaica’s south coast, woke up one July morning this year to flooded streets and yards. The sea had washed some 200 metres inland, flooding drains and leaving knee-deep water on the streets and inside people’s home, a result of high tides and windy conditions.
Negotiators from the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are intent on striking a deal to keep the global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels, but many fear that a 10-year-old agreement to buy cheap petroleum from Venezuela puts their discussions in jeopardy.
This past summer Jamaicans sweltered through their third consecutive year of reduced rainfall resulting in wild fires, a crop-killing drought and daily water cuts.
With time running out for Jamaica's coral reefs, local marine scientists are taking things into their own hands, rebuilding the island’s reefs and coastal defences one tiny fragment at a time - a step authorities say is critical to the country’s climate change and disaster mitigation plans.
Threats from climate change, declining reefs, overfishing and possible loss of several commercial species are driving the rollout of new policy measures to keep Caribbean fisheries sustainable.
For Jamaica, planting more trees as a way to build resilience is one of the highest priorities of the government's climate change action plan. So when Cockpit Country residents woke up to bulldozers in the protected area, they rallied to get answers from the authorities.
For Jamaicans like Roxan Brown, the Caribbean nation's International Monetary Fund (IMF) successes don’t mean a thing. Seven consecutive tests have been passed but still, the mother of two can’t find work and relies instead on the kindness of friends and family.
Caribbean nations have begun work on a plan to ‘climate smart’ the region's fisheries as part of overall efforts to secure food supplies.
A plan that government says will slow the rate of erosion on Jamaica’s world-famous Negril beach is being opposed by the people whose livelihoods it is meant to protect.
Experts here fear that that the impact of climate change on Jamaica's fragile ecosystems will worsen the ravages of human activity and destroy the country's tourism industry.
Jamaican authorities are going all out to achieve environmental sustainability as one way of minimising the expected impacts of climate change on the local biodiversity.
A growing appetite for oil and some of the Caribbean region's highest electricity rates and petroleum prices are driving Jamaica's thrust toward clean energy alternatives.
For more than a week this past February, the city choked on the acrid smoke that forced schools and business to close. It racked up millions of dollars in lost production and an estimated 60 million dollars in firefighting costs as the city tried to combat yet another fire at Kingston's Riverton city dump.
Jamaican authorities are aiming to transform an island that experts say faces one of the worst climate risks in the world into a nation "equipped to prepare for and respond to the negative impacts of climate change".