How is Global Warming Affecting Costa Rica?
The participants at the United Nations climate change conference now in progress in Copenhagen, Denmark are world leaders hoping to formulate a plan to protect our planet by combating global warming.
How is this “run-a-way climate change” affecting Costa Rica? How is this global warming affecting Costa Rica? Scientist are saying that Coastal residents of Costa Rica could face a significant sea level increase possibly up to three to six feet which would inundate many of the existing beach properties which hold concessions in the maritime zones. And the port city of Puntarenas could be under water.
This information is from two scientist who have been studying sea level measurements and sea temperatures taken over the past one hundred and thirty years. They are Martin Vermeer of Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of Potsham Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. Mr. Rahmstorf states “ Since 1990 sea levels have been rising at .13 of an inch , twice as fast as the average over the 20th century” . “If this rates remains constant the sea levels would rise 13 inches in the 21st century.” “But, the warmer the earth temperatures, the faster the sea levels rise due to the melting of the ice in the Antarctica and in Greenland.”
Costa Rica is affected in another way by global warming. Costa Rica has a very large population of frogs, and several species have contacted a fungus which has killed them. Scientist speculate that global warming is the reason for this fungus. One example is the beautiful golden toad which lived in the rain forest of Monteverde. Today this golden toads today cannot be found anywhere in Costa Rica. And other species of frogs in Costa Rica are in danger of contacting this fungus.
What can Costa Rica do to combat global warming? Scientist state the most important thing is to preserve its valuable rain forest. And Costa Rica has made great strides in accomplishing this. Twenty per cent of its land surface is set aside for protection and conservation in the form of National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. But Costa Rica wants to do more. The working farmer needs to clear more land for pastures for his cattle, meaning he has to cut down trees. This farmer would be willing not to cut trees but what can he do to make money to take care of his family? There has to be some type of monetary compensation to this farmer to preserve these valuable trees which will absorb carbon dioxide from our atmosphere thus reducing green house gases which contribute to global warming. These are the kinds of ideas and proposals circulating in the Conference on Climate Change today in Copenhagen.