Barbados Essay

1225 words - 5 pages

Climate Change in Barbados
Introduction
Barbados is a small island that is located in the western area of the North Atlantic Ocean. The weather is generally warm and sunny all year round with an average daytime high of 30°C / 86°F. Barbados has over 3,000 hours of sunshine each year. It was discovered by the Spanish in the late 15th century, but it was not claimed at that time. When English explorers arrived at the island in 1624, they claimed it in the name of King James the First. Currently, the population of Barbados is approximately 277,800, and it is one of the most developed islands in the region. It is also a very popular tourist attraction.

The question which will be addressed concerns what impact will rising sea levels, due to climate change, have on the island of Barbados. Climate change is defined as the change in global climate patterns apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards, caused largely by the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, produced by the use of fossil fuels.

Causes of Climate Change

There are many reasons for the climate on our planet to change, some of them being natural, and others are anthropogenic, meaning they are caused by humans.

Natural Causes

Greenhouse Effect

The greenhouse effect is the process where the suns warmth is trapped in a planet’s lower atmosphere. This happens due to the thickening of the atmosphere, which is caused by greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide. As it is released into the air, it makes the atmosphere denser, and traps more heat because of it. This pertains to my location, Barbados, because it is already a warm country, and it getting even warmer could have negative effects. Firstly, Barbados exports a few crops, such as bananas, sugar cane, coconuts, and asparagus. As the temperature rises, it could become increasingly more difficult to grow these, because the plants are accustomed to the current temperature. With more difficulty growing of these crops, they would not be able to be exported, which could have a detrimental effect on the local economy. Barbados is currently just 13 degrees off the equator. This means that the island does not have a winter, and has a tropical climate. If temperatures continue to rise, the tourist business might be ruined, because of the fact that a place that is too hot is undesirable to visit. This would also slow down the local economy.

Continental Drift
Continental drift also plays a very important role in the change of climate. Approximately 250 million years ago, there was only one continent, called pangea. Over time, it gradually drifted apart into the world as we know it today. This happened because the tectonic plates that make up our planet shifted apart. The earth is constantly being reshaped, but just very slowly. The ocean currents would have been very different 250 million years ago, as they would have had to flow around one huge land mass. Now that the continents all separated, the currents have...

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