Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter
It could become hot as hell, almost literally.
If projections are correct, Jamaicans will face record temperatures in little over a decade. A study on global warming on Wednesday, in the journal Nature, pinpoints the probable dates for specific cities and ecosystems worldwide to regularly experience unprecedented hotter environments. The unprecedented heat will start in Manokwa, Indonesia, in 2020 but Kingston is next. Over the next 20 years, 59 cities will have essentially new climates. At this rate, the whole world will be affected by 2047.
But Senior Adviser on Climate Change Rachel Allen said fear should not be the first course of action.
"This should motivate us to try and seek solutions," she said, opining a need to make solar energy more affordable. She reasoned that more people will seek to purchase air-conditioning units, but cautioned those units burn fossil fuels.
"So we would begin to contribute to climate change. It's a vicious cycle." Allen suggested individuals and community groups must apply for various renewable-energy grants available through entities like the Caribbean Development Bank. She also noted that rising sea temperatures would be detrimental to the coasts and economies of small island developing states, as sustained higher temperatures kill coral.
Homes need more insulation
President of the Incorporated Masterbuilders Association, Carvel Stewart, said future homes would need more insulation.
"You're going to have to look at some form of air conditioning in addition to looking at materials that are heat reflective, that absorb heat slower," he said. "We will also have to look at other solutions for the general environment as well," Stewart, said, pointing to the need for more trees.
When asked if Jamaicans would soon have to start wearing space suit-type clothing, dermatologist Dr Patricia Yap said "not yet", noting the ozone layer and the stratosphere still filter the light sufficiently enough. She noted that persons in other countries would still be worse off.
"The higher you go, the more damaged you are," she said. "If you think sunburn is worse in Hellshire, wait until you go to the mountain tops like the Matterhorn (Europe)."