Potential Impact of Climate Change Esmeraldas Ecuador (report)

Posted on August 22, 2012 • Filed under: Ecuador, Enviromental Issues

Potential impacts
For Esmeraldas, potential impacts of climate change are related to the increase in superficial
temperatures at sea and land. For the area of the Esmeraldas river basin, increase projections in
the superficial temperature varies from +2°C to a maximum of +3°C.17 This means an increase
in the demand for energy for refrigeration, air and water pollution, and health problems. When
the increase of the sea is evaluated, it is possible to observe that between 3% and 6% of the
city would be permanently or periodically flooded by the sea towards the end of the century,
which would cause 8.4% to 14% of the current population to be evacuated. Likewise, it is
foreseen that the two greater islands and the area closest to the airport may be covered by the
sea (in the more pessimistic projections or scenarios). It is also expected that these impacts
affect the economic potential of the city, given the loss of areas with touristic and recreation
potential, the lack of fishes in the sea, as well as mangrove swamps and the evacuation of the
population to higher areas.18
The projection of change over the precipitation patterns for the region is much more difficult to
define. They vary from -50% to +50% in the current conditions. In practical terms, this means
that the city can be severely affected by intense and frequent precipitations, occasioning the flood
of certain areas and landslides in other areas of the city, or can be affected by one great drought
that would mainly hinder the access to water and evidently to agricultural activities in the area
(it would affect the quality of life of the population by increasing the prices of the agricultural
products that are more scarce). Uncertainty on the direction that precipitation patterns may take
complicates the adaptation efforts that the city may be able to implement, and it also shows the
importance of working in the preparation of the citizens for these future scenarios.19
These potential changes in the weather conditions in the canton and the impacts they can
have over the quality of life stress the importance of the active and permanent participation
of the inhabitants of urban and rural areas, who must be aware of the expected changes and
work in defining the best way to adapt to these new weather patterns. With this objective,
the Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy for Climate Change in the city of Esmeraldas has been
drawn up. This document aims at facilitating planning at the local level. Read Paper available PDF

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