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The rise of global temperatures is affecting Belize

HighlightsThe rise of global temperatures is affecting Belize

Photo: Ramon Frutos giving a lecture at Benque’s House of Culture on Friday, part of the yearly Versavel Series of Lectures

by Orlando Pulido

SANTA ELENA TOWN, Cayo District, Sun. June 16, 2024

A leading Belizean climate change expert has informed us of the expected changes in Belize due to Climate Change. Mr. Ramon Frutos, Sr., former Chief Meteorologist at the National Meteorological Department, gave a lecture on Climate Change on Friday, June 14, at the House of Culture in Benque.

Climate change involves any change in weather patterns as a result of human activity. Significant long-term changes in the average weather patterns on Earth have already been noted. 2023 was the world’s warmest year on record (from 1850 to 2023). Global warming is now pushing heat into territory humans can barely tolerate.

The World Meteorological Organization reported on June 5, 2024, that there is an 80% likelihood that the annual average global temperature will temporarily exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

In the lecture, Frutos shared that humans are disturbing the natural flow of energy, which has led to global warming.

These temperature increases have been recorded on Central Farm. Also noted on Central Farm is an overall decrease in rainfall. A 20 to 30% decrease in precipitation is expected by 2050.

A 3% rise in global surface air temperature will lead to drought and desertification. Additionally, global ocean currents will be increasingly disrupted. Ice on the land mass is melting and toppling into the ocean.

“Because of the increase in global temperatures, as you look into the future, we can see some of the effects of climate change will be increasing temperature and also an increase in major storms in the Caribbean that could make landfall along the coast of Belize in the future,” said Frutos.

Frutos recommends that we all can “begin to at least conserve electricity [which] is one way to reduce emission and try to recycle as much as possible; to also help in reducing the loads of refuse that we send to the dumpsite because … as the refuse begin to decompose, they release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.”

Frutos also stated that “we can to [sic] try to discourage deforestation and its impact on water resources, for example, contamination of the rivers and streams and also groundwater.”

The Versavel Lecture Series in Benque was hosted by the Artists for Cultural and Historical Endeavors CACHE. The grouping has helped establish the Centennial Memorial Park in 2000 and the Benque Viejo House of Culture. The Versavel Lecture Series itself features talks by educators, researchers, and historians like Mr. Giovanni Pinelo.

Frutos is asking members of the public to continue to monitor the weather reports and also the bulletins on hurricanes, because we are in a La Nina phase that will impact the hurricane season.

“We can expect a couple of storms to develop in the Caribbean. One or two of those can make landfall this year, because of the intense heat that we have been experiencing over the dry season,” Frutos noted.

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