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[Impacts of Climate Change] Latin America And The Caribbean 2020: WMO

State Of The Climate On Latin America And The Caribbean 2020: WMO:

 

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a report on the impacts of climate change and extreme weather in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • 2020 was a year of unprecedented heatwaves, droughts, forest fires, cyclones and food insecurity for the region.
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its sixth assessment report had highlighted the impact of climate change on the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Rise in Temperature:
    • 2020 was among the three warmest years in Central America and the Caribbean and the second warmest year in South America.
    • Sea surface temperature in the Tropical North Atlantic Ocean was significantly warmer than normal throughout the year.
    • Severe heat waves dominated the region through most of the year, with temperatures soaring above 40°C several days in a row.
  • Intense Rainfall:
    • Intense rainfall resulted in landslides, floods and flash floods in the rural as well as urban areas of Central and South America towards the end of 2020.
  • Forest Fires and Cyclones:
    • Deforestation has only increased in the last four years due to clearing for cattle pasture and degradation from fires.
    • Deforestation in the Amazon River Basin, which stretches across nine countries in South America and stores 10% of global carbon, has already led to a decline in its ability to regulate climate.
    • The Atlantic basin recorded as many as 30 cyclones in 2020 — the highest so far in a single year.

Impact:

  • Extreme weather events affected over 8 million people across Central America, exacerbating food insecurity in countries already crippled by economic shocks, Covid-19 restrictions, and conflict.

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