Climate Change and Water: What’s the future of Caribbean Agriculture?

The lecture, Climate Change and Water:  What’s the future of Caribbean Agriculture? by Adrian Trotman was presented at the CARDI Public Consultation: Climate Change in Agriculture Development on 10 July 2012 in Grenada.

Climate and weather. Two different things

Adrian Trotman of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), Barbados presented at the public consultation in Grenada. Mr Trotman explained that many people muddle the distinction between climate and weather. Weather is the day to day or year to year variation in conditions. Climate is what is experienced long term and is described by 30 to 40 year averages. Thus the rainy conditions in the dry season of 2011 and 2012 are due to variation in weather and not long term climate change. Regarding climate the Caribbean climate has already warmed up by 0.5°C over the last 30-40 years and is predicted to rise by at least another 2°C by 2100. Up to now there has been little discernible change in rainfall but all models suggest a drier Caribbean by the end of the century. All this could be bad news for agriculture if mitigating measures are not taken. Crops such as tomato may not flower in higher temperatures and our comparative advantage in tropical crop production will move to temperate regions.

Source: CARDI Biweekly issue 6: 30 July 2012

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