As of 11 p.m. ET, September 2, 2019, Hurricane Dorian was a category 4 storm battering the Bahamas. At least 5 people were killed in Abaco when it hit the Bahamas as a category 5 hurricane with wind speed of 185 mph on September 1 in the afternoon. It’s a historic tragedy that needs analysis and assistance.
A total of 35 tropical cyclones have reached Category 5 in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Equator, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Only in 1932, 1933, 1961, 2005, 2007 and 2017 has more than one Category 5 hurricane formed.
In 4 of those 6 years, a member country of CARICOM was hit by a Category 5 hurricane. Only in 2005 have more than two Category 5 hurricanes formed, and only in 2007 and 2017 did more than one make landfall at Category 5 strength.
The years 2016 to 2019 constitute the longest sequence of consecutive years in which there was at least one Category 5 hurricane.
Hurricanes are powered by heat from the warm ocean, and with global warming, more Category 5 hurricanes are inevitable. The scientific data demonstrates that the members of CARICOM are disproportionately hit by Category 5 hurricanes.
The developed countries like the United States and Europe are less affected and have the economic might to be less hindered by Category 5 hurricanes. My assertion is that developed countries have far less motives to address global warming and its effect on the climate.
Expecting them to address it is like asking the wealthy to address homicides, which rarely affects them.
We in Belize and the Caribbean must start to address it, by, for instance, using alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar. It will benefit us and put the developed world on notice that the Caribbean is a “small-giant” that will look after our own interests, instead of being dependent.
Brian E Plummer