Marginalisation of the Tropics
As a result of the poleward amplification of temperature gains, global temperature patterns due to the greenhouse effect represent a tropicalisation of world climates. The new temperature fields will cause two major hazards in the tropics. The first is a reduction in mean rainfall. The second is more intense El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events. This combination will increase desertification rates in the tropics, increase year to year climate variability and raise the number and severity of extreme events. Based on analogues drawn from several tropical regions, we predict stresses on water and in food security, losses in global trade competitiveness and significant increases in environmental disasters and environmental refugees. Even though the outer tropics is most vulnerable to climate change impacts, squeeze on the inner tropics will grow, improvements in wealth not withstanding.
Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming, Water Stress, Risk, Vulnerability, International Competitiveness
Prof. Lawrence Nkemdirim
Professor, Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Calgary