The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has collaborated with the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, and the University of Cantabria to launch a database to facilitate analysis of the impact of climate change on Caribbean coasts.
ECLAC said regional countries could improve coastal planning and develop preventive measures to adapt to the effects of climate change using the database.
It said the database contains information on coastal dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean, climate variability, coastal vulnerability and exposure to climate change, the impact of climate change in the area, and an estimation of predictable risks in the future.
"The results will make it possible to estimate the potential effects of the rise in sea level on the region's coasts, using historical satellite and buoy information since 1950, and projections for the 21st century," ECLAC said.
"It combines variables such as annual rise in sea level, changes in wind direction, significant changes in wave height, erosion, and changes in sediment dynamics," it added.
The database is part of the project called 'Effects of Climate Change on the Coast of Latin America and the Caribbean' being implemented by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, University of Cantabria, and ECLAC - "which have an agreement to transfer, apply and update the results of the initiative."
ECLAC said the project consists of a series of documents and a support database, including a web viewer.
"From today, this database, which is a major public good for the region, is available for all interested users. The potential of this tool is relevant for territorial planning, engineering requirements, and environmental impact evaluation procedures."
According to the recently presented fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the impact of this climatic phenomenon is "unmistakable throughout the world, with Latin America and the Caribbean being one of the most vulnerable regions, particularly in coastal areas, with a large concentration of population and activity."