Global warming is set to bring more extreme hurricanes to the Caribbean, but the likelihood of such disasters can be reduced dramatically if the countries in the region meet their climate change goals, the University of Bristol has stated in a report.
Under the current climate, the Caribbean will experience devastating hurricanes once or twice in a period of 100 years, but the increasing rate of global warming means that such hurricanes could occur more often.
Extreme hurricanes, such as Hurricane Maria, occur once in a hundred years. But with the earth becoming warmer with each passing day, an event of similar size to Maria would be more than twice as likely, occurring once every 43 years, the report added.
In an agreement signed in Paris, countries around the world have agreed to cut carbon emissions, vowing to ensure that the global average temperature increase does not exceed 2°C.
Researchers say that rainfall statistics took into account several factors including land features and large scale winds.
They claimed to have found that the Caribbean is more vulnerable to climate change than cooler regions such as the United States and Canada.
“Hurricane research has previously focused on the United States, so we wanted to look at the Caribbean region, which has fewer resources to recover,” said lead author Emily Vosper, Research Student at the School of Computer Science, at the University of Bristol.
“The findings are alarming and illustrate the urgent need to tackle global warming to reduce the likelihood of extreme rainfall events and their catastrophic consequences, particularly for poorer countries which take many years to recover.”