Impacts of Climate Change on the Coastal and Marine Physical Environments of Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Stephen Dye, Paul Buckley, John Pinnegar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Temperature – sea surface temperature has risen by more than 1 °C over the last 100 years. Future temperature rises will have impacts on hurricanes, rainfall, coral reefs and wider marine ecosystems.

Hurricanes - The IPCC (IPCC AR5 WG1) found strong evidence for an increase in the frequency and intensity of the strongest tropical hurricanes since the 1970s in the North Atlantic.

El Niño- Understanding the influence of the El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon on Caribbean’s marine environment and timescales of variability is key to understanding how climate has been changing; projecting these relationships and ENSO itself into the future becomes vital to understand the fingerprint of global warming in the region.

Precipitation – there are a wide range of projections for future precipitation change in the area with some models finding increases in the coming century while most suggest a drier future for the region. Ocean surface aragonite saturation state (Ωarg) has declined by around 3% in the Caribbean region relative to pre-industrial levels.

Climate variability – the Caribbean region needs a smaller increase in temperature for its conditions to become distinct (climate
emergence) from the envelope of climate variability over the last hundred years, compared with the rest of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCaribbean Marine Climate Change Report Card Scientific Reviews
PublisherForeign & Commonwealth Office, GOV.UK
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameCommonwealth Marine Economies Programme

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