Climate Change in Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Explain why there are growing concerns about climate change in the region

Each of the 3 countries are going to be affected by the problem in different ways. Panama will experience a decline in rainfall by as much as 200mm during their rainy seasons. This will represent a reduction in the water supply, and therefore reduced water availability. This will seriously damage the Panamanian economy. The proposed development of the panama canal will require masses amount of water, around 55 million gallons per ship. If the predicted decline in rainfall were to happen, there would not be enough water for the locks, making them unusable. This will reduce the amount of ships which will be able to flow through the canal, reducing the amount of revenue the canal brings in, and reduce the amount of trade can conduct. This will be a growing concern as this will lead to unemployment, and therefore lower the average income of the country from $19630 (figure 4). This could lead to a negative multiplier effect as the population will experience a decline in material living standards, and may not be able to afford education and healthcare.

Nicaragua will experience a 3 degree rise in temperature along with a 400mm decline in rainfall during wet seasons. This will reduce water availability, limiting the amount of water farmers can use to irrigate their crops. This will therefore lead to a decline in crop yields of crops such as coffee. Coffee is the country's main export, making up 14% of their total exports (figure 5). Climate change is becoming a growing concern, as if the climate predictions hold up, the will decline, causing a loss of income from exports. This will not only reduce the amount the government has to spend on development projects, hampering development; but also cause mass unemployment.

Currently, 30% of their workforce is involved in agriculture (figure 4), which will decline as a result of climate change; causing mass unemployment and rural decline. The rise in unemployment may also fuel a negative cycle as the population will experience a decline in material living standards, which will reduce productivity; leading to a future decline in income Costa Rica will experience a 50% decline during peak rainfall months, along with a 3-6 degree rise in temperatures. This will cause a loss of biodiversity; Costa Rica's main biome, the tropical rainforest, requires temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees, along with year round rainfall. As a result of climate change, much of Costa Rica will no longer have such conditions. This will cause a decline in the size of the rainforest, representing a loss in biodiversity. This is a growing concern for costa rica as they depend heavily on the biome for eco-tourism, which produces large amounts of revenue and employment for the country; tourism provides 12% of the country's GDP and 12% of employment (figure 9). The loss of tropical rainforest, will lead to a loss of ecotourism; this will reduce GDP, reducing the amount the country can spend on development projects like education. It will also lead to a rise in unemployment, which will lead to a decline in average in income from $13900 (figure 4); which will reduce material living standards.