Thursday, June 9, 2011

Climate change is about behavior

LarA Pickford-Gordon in Newsday (Trinidad and Tobago): The Caribbean region’s climate has changed from cooling to warming in less than 50 years with temperature changing by ten degrees Celsius and more. “So climate change is a very real possibility. There has also been sustained mega droughts in this region which has lasted thousands of years and it seems to be associated with the shutdown of ocean currents,” said Dr Kenny Broad, Associate Professor, Division of Marine Affairs, University of Miami and director of the Abess Centre for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

Broad who was a speaker at the RBC and National Geographic’s “The Business of Water Innovation Breakfast Forum” at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday said, “The impacts of climate change on life and water in the region were “potentially significant.”

Speaking to media, he said while experts looking at reports on different international climate models tend to disagree on climate change impact on many parts of the world, there is “more robust agreement” regarding the Caribbean due to warming and reduced precipitation.

He said TT was fortunate to be blessed with more water than many other islands especially low lying ones. During his presentation, Broad said managing water was not only about the technical aspects of water systems but getting behaviour change. “Invisibility” of water was one challenge of behaviour change since most people did not know where water came from. “If you take away the water that is locked up in ice about 95 percent of the world’s fresh good drinking water is in aquifers,” Broad said.

…Jennie Ward Robinson, executive Director of the Institute for Water and Public Research spoke about the RBC-sponsored project in TT in which rural and peri-urban communities were being taught “how to determine their quality of water and think about water safety” particularly water extracted from a river or well....

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