Among officials who participated is President Carlos Alvarado
- National Emergency Commission courtesy photo -

-  Published: Friday, February 14, 2020 -


Costa Rica hosts conference on natural disasters due climate change


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services

The National Emergency Commission held this week the Understanding Risk Central America, a conference where nearly 500 international experts meet to discuss issues about disaster risk and climate change.

The convention that ends today at the Costa Rican Convention Center in Heredia, includes experts, organizations, and academic institutions, who will seek to build strategic alliances to move from understanding risk to action in disaster resilience, said an announcement.

In the conference issues are being raised related to social inclusion, community commitment, cultural heritage, coastal resilience, meteorological, climatic and hydrological services, fiscal and financial resilience, urban planning, among others.

Among officials who participated are President Carlos Alvarado, the secretary of the Central American Integration System, Vinicio Cerezo; the director of the World Bank for Central America, Seynabou Sakho, and NASA researchers Sandra Cauffman and Daniel E. Irwin, among others.

“Our goal is to reach an alliance that allows us to protect citizens through preventive actions and preparation, through the empowerment of communities,” said Alvarado.

According to the commission, Understanding Risk is a community with more than 9,000 members from 180 countries and 2,000 organizations.

Understanding Risk Central America is organized by the World Bank and is the first time it has been carried out in Central America and the second time at the regional level in Latin America.

The Central American region was chosen because it is one of the most vulnerable in the world, with frequent impacts of distress and challenges in the socio-economic development of the countries that comprise it, said the commission.

According to the NASA study The Potential Effects of Global Warming, climate change may not be responsible for the recent skyrocketing cost of natural disasters, but it is very likely that it will impact future catastrophes.

Climate models provide a glimpse of the future, and while they do not agree on all of the details, most models predict a few general trends, said the NASA in its statement.

First, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will probably boost temperatures over most land surfaces, though the exact change will vary regionally. "More uncertain, but possible, outcomes of an increase in global temperatures include increased risk of drought and increased intensity of storms, including tropical cyclones with higher wind speeds, a wetter Asian monsoon, and, possibly, more intense mid-latitude storms," said the NASA in the study.

According to the study, even if tropical storms don’t change significantly, other environmental changes brought on by global warming could make the storms more deadly. Melting glaciers and ice caps will likely cause sea levels to rise, which would make coastal flooding more severe when a storm comes ashore. In their 2001 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that global warming should cause sea levels to rise 0.11 to 0.77 meters (0.36 to 2.5 feet) by 2100.


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Are natural disasters more aggressive due to climate change? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


















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