World Bank report “Low Carbon, High Growth: Latin American Responses to Climate Change,” focuses on four climate impacts of special concern: the warming and eventual disabling of mountain ecosystems in the Andes; the bleaching of coral reefs leading to an anticipated total collapse of the coral biome in the Caribbean basin; the damage to vast stretches of wetlands and associated coastal systems in the Gulf of Mexico; and the risk of forest dieback in the Amazon basin. Estimates suggest that losses from hurricane damage along the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico “could increase tenfold from 2020 to 2025.” In Central America and the Caribbean, losses will triple or quadruple, respectively, in the same period. In Colombia, the worst-case scenario could see Colombian farm production suffer an almost total loss of 94% as a result of temperature rises from 2.5 to 5 degrees Celsius and a 10% variation in annual rainfalls. In Peru, the glaciers may disappear within 20 years.
Date: 23 February 2009