Environment And Climate Change In Panama

1670 words - 7 pages

Environment and Climate Change in Panama

Home to vast tropical rainforests, an immense variety of animal and plant species and the seaway that connects the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, Panama relies heavily on all these resources for its economy. However, environmental challenges threaten the sustainability of these assets and therefore create a significant problem for the country. This paper will examine the effect of weather and climate change on Panama coupled with a specific focus on the Panama Canal. It concentrates largely on the effects of deforestation, coupled with the effect of El-Nino, and examines how this has had significant economic and social consequences.

Panama has a tropical maritime climate, which provides the country with a long, rainy season between May and January and a short, dry season between January and May. Average temperatures are usually high and humidity levels almost never drop below 80%. The country’s carbon emissions are not significant to account for a percentage of the world emissions and they have relatively stayed the same during the period 1995-2000.[i] Forest area stood at 38.6% on 2002, with nationally protected areas at 21.7% of total area.[ii]

In general, data has shown an increase in highly “unusual extreme weather events” since 1992 in the Latin America region and has predicted that these phenomena will become more frequent. These unusual events, coupled with local social and demographic factors, have created emergency conditions in Panama.

One of the most significant challenges to Panama’s environment today is deforestation. Forest area has decreased from 45.6% in 1995 to 38.6% in 2002, with a rate of deforestation at 1.65% in the year 2000. This latter number was higher than the Latin America & Caribbean average, which stood at 0.47%.[iii] The main reason for deforestation has been due to the clearing of forests in order to open up land area for agriculture and settlement in addition to an increasing level of industrial logging and mining activities.[iv]

Overall, tropical deforestation contributes to an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, expected to be between 29 and 129 ppm within 100 years globally.[v] In addition, deforestation results in a decrease in precipitation due to two reasons, as discussed by Laurance and Williamson.[vi] Forests produce water vapor through evapotranspiration, which contributes to rainfall. Secondly, smoke from forest fires can reduce rainfall and cloud cover can trap moisture, therefore inhibiting the formation of raindrops. The consequences of deforestation can be more severe if coupled with other conditions that contribute to a lack of precipitation. In Panama, deforestation was coupled with the warming effects of regional El-Nino phenomena, resulting in heavy droughts in the country. Especially during the extremely intense El-Nino...

Find Another Essay On Environment and Climate Change in Panama

Climate Change in Peru Essay

1589 words - 6 pages and the deforestation that has occurred in the Amazon Basin. It would make sense that policies in improving development planning and reducing deforestation would be beneficial to the environment as well as the general population. However, one country making policies towards reversing climate change will not provide results. It is only acting as a global community in making these changes that we will begin to see the beneficial results in the

Climate Change in India Essay

1330 words - 5 pages phenomenon is especially pertinent to countries like India. India has an extremely large population that is relatively underdeveloped in terms of technology. The results of such conditions mean that developing countries do not have the economy or capabilities to support rapid urbanization and industrialization in the most environmentally sound manor. India is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to its geological makeup. India

Climate Change and Religion

1497 words - 6 pages effects will take the planet thousands of years to recover so its critical that action is taken now to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. Human spirit and the voice of religion may be the key to solving the climate change problem. Climate Change an Environmental Concern Climate change is a growing environmental concern that is affecting all reaches of the planet. Rising air and ocean temperatures are causing a change in

Climate Change and Evolution

1329 words - 5 pages percent decline per decade in Arctic sea ice, resulting in shorter feeding seasons for polar bears. The species’ main food source, ringed seals, which live on the ice of Hudson Bay are becoming increasingly inaccessible due to earlier ice melts. "We're wrong if we think that climate change is something that will happen far off in the future. Polar bears are starving now and we need to act now to stop climate change," said Kevin Jardine, Greenpeace

Climate Change and Canada

944 words - 4 pages ignorant of the negative change in the environment.. The largest concern of climate change is the exponential increase of temperature. Initially, this is largely due to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment. Canada is a vast country, and as a result, roads are built for gas-guzzling cars and other motorized vehicles that burn fossil fuels, all of which contribute to greenhouse gases. Consequently, with more greenhouse gases

Climate Change and Agriculture

883 words - 4 pages . No other factors contribute more to this catastrophe than the climate change, also known as global warming. The elevation in the Earth’s average temperature as a result of burning fossil fuels and other natural or human activities produces carbon dioxide, which acts like a heat trapping gas and affects the earth in various ways. Among the most affected areas of climate change, agricultural sector is facing some serious threats through factors like

Food and Agriculture in Panama

1147 words - 5 pages and coffee beans, while the largest domestic crops are corn, rice, cocoanuts, tobacco and the exotic root vegetable yucca (Bennett 78). In spite of the fact that agriculture employs a large portion of the population and uses approximately half of the land, agriculture in Panama is in trouble. Panama’s tropical maritime climate poses some restrictions to the growth of crops, but the troubling issue at hand is the erosion of soils. As Panama’s

Relationship Between Plant Biomass and Climate Change in the Arctic

2119 words - 8 pages the impacts of biomass changes over the years and understanding the impacts of biomass changes over the years and understanding what needs to be done to address the alarming trend (Brooker et al., 2007).what are the implications of change in plant biomass to the environment? How far reaching is the effect of climate change to the environment? It is certain that climate change does impact on biodiversity on a global scale (Brooker et al 2007). The

Climate Change and The Rise in Sea Level

2220 words - 9 pages vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise? A country will be vulnerable according to its “capabilities to cope with the consequences of climate change and accelerated sea level rise.” (IPCC, 2003) Sea level rise will likely impact water supplies, fisheries, tourism and human settlements. It is likely that impacts in the Maldives islands and Bangladesh will not only be costly economically but that these will generate losses of cultural values as

Research Regarding Climate Change and Agriculture Management in Nepal

956 words - 4 pages 3 Research propose The purpose of research is to explore, how climate change had been changed the management of agriculture in Nepal? 3.2 Objectives a) To examine the management of agriculture helps to minimize the effects of climate change on agricultural products. b) To assess the relation between climate change and agricultural productivity. c) To find out the response of villagers against changes. d) To explore any adaptation strategies


1068 words - 5 pages Title CLIMATE CHANGE: HEALTH CHALLENGES AND PREPAREDNESS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Developing nation’s slippery wrestling with many health problems for many years, it is very clear that good health is relating to long live. In the developing – countries have a lot of issues such as lack of clean drinking water, inadequate, poor quality of food and disease are the challenges facing developing countries.The present of these problem hampering

Similar Essays

Environment And Climate Change Essay

1018 words - 5 pages natural causes of climate change, the more common are continental drift, volcanic eruptions, and the melting of the glaciers. In addition to these causes, climate change has also many man-made causes such as the emission of greenhouse gases, deforestation, pollution, use of chemical fertilizers, burning of fossil fuels. All these causes have almost the same consequences that are the increase of the earth’s temperature, extreme weather, and the

The Coming Disaster: The Environment, Climate Change, And Human Influences

3086 words - 12 pages take effect. Instead of burning coal, and petroleum, use solar, wind & water power. Though this solution seems impossible because switching to a new energy source costs a lot of money, and a lot of oil refinery’s & oil miners will lose their jobs. Works Cited Arieti, David, MS, and Jacob Neiva, MD. Introduction. Prognosis Disaster: The Environment, Climate Change, Human Influences, Vectors. Disease, & the Possible end of Humanity. By Arieti

Air Pollution And Climate Change In Tanzania

1169 words - 5 pages /200709170358.html>. Loserian, David. “Climate Change and Poverty: Experiences in Eastern Tanzania, Morogoro Region.” Tanzania Forest Conservation Group. No Date. . Paavola, Jouni. “Vulnerability to Climate Change in Tanzania: Sources, Substance and Solutions.” Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment. 19 June 2003. .

Climate Change And Air Pollution In Australia

1215 words - 5 pages Climate Change and Air Pollution in Australia Air Pollution Fortunately for Alice Springs and much of the Northern Territory, its remote location and low population density mean that the city is not a large source of air pollution. In fact, in a report issued by the Northern Territory Minister of Infrastructure, Planning, and Environment, it is said that while doing testing for the National Environmental Protection