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THE CARIBBEAN
Climate change nearing point of no return
6/6/2013
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Scientists warn of irreversible climate catastrophe

The Caribbean is on the verge of a climate catastrophe and needs “urgent action on all levels,” warned Jamaican scientist Conrad Douglas.

Douglas participated in a meeting of environmental policies experts on May 15-16 in Charlestown, St Kitts and Nevis, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The scientists agreed that time has nearly run out and measures against climate change must be taken immediately before it is too late.

Alarmingly, the amount of carbon dioxide — one of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming — in the atmosphere has risen to the point that it could cause a climate catastrophe. CO2 levels could become potentially disastrous and endanger our species within two years.

The Caribbean islands are at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels, a 2010 study by Oxford University revealed.

“We are heading towards a dangerous place on planet Earth”, warned Douglas, who has published over 350 reports on environmental topics. 

John Crowley, UNESCO representative, said that due to the excessive use of inorganic fertilizers the nitrogen cycle has become unbalanced. Crowley added that this might have “potentially irreversible and catastrophic consequences that will make us rethink the agricultural system, including the use of fertilizers.”

Marcus Natta, projects analyst of the Ministry of Sustainable Development of St Kitts and Nevis, spoke of this very promising meeting adding that “the particular importance of this conference was that it concentrated on action. I think that in contrary to many other meetings, this time we can really concentrate on actions that come after the plan and we will have great success.”

The small islands of St Kitts and Nevis are considered one of the last paradises on earth that still represent the wonders of the Caribbean. Douglas stated the hope that the measures that were decided on at the reunion will preserve the animal and plant diversity on these islands.

The scientist added that “it’s our attitudes, values and the failure to change our behavior that brought us to this critical point.” Douglas pointed out that it is not only about the environment since climatic change would also allow regions like the Caribbean to fall into "a perpetual cycle of poverty and misery.”

2012 was not only the hottest year in recent history, it also brought along many natural disasters such as hurricane Sandy from which many countries in Northern and Central America have still not recovered. With continuous climate change, hurricanes like this will become much more frequent and dangerous all over the world, according to the United Nations Environment Program.
—Latinamerica Press.


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