CLIMATE CHANGE-LATIN AMERICA: Frightening Numbers

by Dave

IPS

The countries of Latin America and the
Caribbean need billions of dollars to deal with the economic impact of
climate change — funding that is not easily found on the international
market.

Some of the immediate effects of climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean are a 0.1 degree Celsius rise in temperature over the last decade, exceptionally strong hurricanes, flooding in southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and drought in Chile, southwestern Argentina and Peru.

The long-term effects in the region, according to the World Bank report, include the disappearance of tropical glaciers, the expansion of tropical diseases, the destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems like coral reefs and rainforest, a drop in agricultural production and the devastation of coastal infrastructure.

Agricultural productivity could fall by 12 to 50 percent by 2010 in South America, depending on the severity of climate change. In Mexico, between 30 to 85 percent of farms could experience a near total loss of economic productivity.

Latin America and the Caribbean have more than 33 percent of the world’s total forest biomass and 65 percent of all tropical forest biomass. The region accounts for 12 percent of global agricultural exports and three percent of jobs in the agricultural sector.

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