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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #080 Barbados Climate and Tourism - December 1, 2010
December 02, 2010
Barbados Climate: To Be or Not To Be in Existence
A bit about Barbados Climate - the Caribbean climate continues to change. To some degree, global warming has contributed to changes in Barbados weather patterns. Some believe people living here may be subject to increased risk; they have become more vulnerable to an ever-changing climate.
Barbados resides within the tropics, along the south-western edge of the North Atlantic Ocean. In comparison to nearby islands, Barbados lies relatively flat. The northeast trade winds heavily influence the maritime climate near Barbados. These winds work largely as a moderator for the tropical temperatures experienced throughout the island. That is, they help to evenly distribute heat and humidity over the entire nation.
In general, the Barbados climate is considered moderately tropical. Daytime temperatures tend to range in the upper eighties and seventies late at night. Higher elevations experience slight cooler temperatures. Barbados has a distinct wet and dry season, and on average, Barbados experiences a yearly precipitation between 40 and 90 inches.
The dry season usually runs from December to May, with the wet season from June to November. This is when they have highest concerns for tropical storms, including hurricanes. However, Barbados usually avoids the worst effects arising from these sytems. Since Barbados lies south of the main hurricane zone, storms usually miss this island by 100 miles or more.
Climate Change and BarbadosThe Barbados climate has started to feel the effects of global warming. Scare tactics put this forth as a notable concern in light of the fact of how the island is low lying and potentially vulnerable to any major changes in sea level. Barbados has seen increases in temperature and there have been slight measured increases in the Caribbean sea level. Temperature rises have been blamed for human casualties associated with excessive heat. Moreover, projected climate change in the Caribbean may enable the region to serve as a potential breeding ground for disease and other undesirable tropical elements.
The effect on Barbados TourismWhat other things are we watching for? Some of the main concerns rest within the fragile ecosystems. Ultimately, changes in air and water temperature could lead to destruction of coral reefs and other fragile maritime species within the sea, as we have seen in other parts of the world. It could also lead to changes in fish and bird migratory patterns throughout the Caribbean region.
Global warming has been postulated to lead to the introduction of invasive species originally unknown to these waters. And it could lead to the extinction of currently endangered species, while placing more species at risk of becoming endangered. Tourist activities such as snorkeling depend on an abundance of marine wildlife for observation. In addition to that, rising sea-levels could ultimately pose a threat to agriculture and infrastructure located within the coastal zones, requiring existing facilities to relocate or cease altogether.
If the sea level does rise, one might expect inland flooding and loss of tourist facilities and revenues. According to worst-case prognosticators, the beaches, as they are now known, would cease to exist, and so would other Barbados vacations amenities. Suffice it say that there is cause for concern.
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