Carlos Fuller


First of all, as we all know, there are three aspects of climate change that we know occur. The first is the increase of global temperatures because of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. As a result of the warming of the oceans, sea levels rise; but even more importantly, additional fresh water is entering the oceans, which is now the predominant factor leading to increased sea-level rates. Finally, a change of the hydrological cycle—because of warmer temperatures, we are seeing more extreme weather events and shifts in precipitation patterns.

The impacts, however, are more important—for example, the impacts of climate change on health. In Belize, we are seeing much more dengue because more mosquitoes are being spawned. There are also impacts on agricultural productivity, forestry, water resources, the coastal zone, and ecosystems in general.

In the case of Belize, our best data from the international airport shows that in the past fifty years, temperatures have increased by one degree Celsius already, and we know the global average for the past one hundred and fifty years is about the same: 1.1 to 1.2 degrees Celsius. So in fact, in Belize, it is even rising at a greater rate than we see globally.