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El Niño and climate change cause record disasters in Latin America in 2023

El Niño and climate change cause record disasters in Latin America in 2023

The phenomenon of The boy and the effects of global warming due to human activity caused a record of climate disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2023, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN agency, indicated this Wednesday.

Last year was the warmest on record in the region, the report noted, which also warned that sea level rise and glacier retreat continued, and that “a great change” in the distribution of precipitation caused droughts and forest fires, but also floods and landslides.

Unfortunately, 2023 was a year in which climate dangers broke records in Latin America and the Caribbean“said the Secretary General of the WMOCeleste Saulo, cited in a statement.

Saul attributed the increase in these extreme events to the combination of conditions associated with The boy with the consequences of human-induced climate change.

The WMO describes The boy as a natural climate pattern associated with the warming of the ocean surface in the tropical Pacific, which usually occurs every two to seven years and lasts between nine and twelve months. But he stressed that it is currently taking place in the context of a climate altered by human activities.

The secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization, Celeste Saulo, in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 19, 2024. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

In 2023, 67 episodes of meteorological, hydrological and climatic disasters were reported in the region. Of them, 77% were linked to storms and floods, the report said. WMO based on data from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).

Among the climate disasters of 2023, the WMO Hurricane Otis stood out, which devastated the Mexican resort of Acapulco in October, leaving at least 45 dead and millions in damage.

He also mentioned the intense drought that hit the region, which caused the lowest level of the Negro River to be recorded in the Amazon in more than 120 years of measurements, and that ship traffic through the Panama Canal was disrupted.seriously” Since August.

In addition, he highlighted that the drought in the Plata basin affected northern Argentina and southern Brazil and especially hit Uruguay, which experienced its driest summer in 42 years and experienced a critical lack of water.

The WMO added to all this the scourge of torrential rains that left dozens dead due to landslides and floods, both in southeastern Brazil in February, and in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in November.

2023, the warmest year

In 2023, the average temperature was the highest recorded so far in Latin America and the Caribbean: it was 0.82°C above the average for the period 1991-2020, and 1.39°C above the reference value for the period 1961-1990, indicated the WMO.

In Mexico, the country in the region that had the fastest rate of warming, the northern summer was exceptionally torrid, with a maximum of 51.4ºC in August.

Meanwhile, the central region of South America experienced scorching heat from August to December, the report noted. In some areas of Brazil the thermometer marked 41ºC in August, in the middle of the southern winter.

Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru They recorded their highest temperatures for the month of September and there were large forest fires in several places.

The WMO He also warned that the rise in sea level is accelerating. The rate of rise in mean sea level in the South Atlantic and the subtropical and tropical North Atlantic exceeds the global average, he said.

According to the report, in Chile, the Echaurren Norte glacier, a reference for the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), lost about 31 meters of water equivalent between 1975 and 2023.

On the other hand, the WMO considered “insufficient” meteorological and climate services provided in Latin America and the Caribbean.

However, he highlighted the “progress to increase the resilience of the health sector to climate change”, and noted that in 12 of the 35 American countries, national adaptation plans for health are being developed.

Source: Gestion

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