Rigobert: Recent storms ‘horrifying’ prospect for future

Minister Responsible for Sustainable Development, Doctor Gale Rigobert, has told St Lucia Times that record breaking storms during the current Atlantic Hurricane season present a ‘horrifying’ prospect for the future.

“This has not been a normal hurricane season,” Rigobert declared.

She noted that Saint Lucia has been fortunate not to have been in the direct path of hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria.

However she lamented that this country’s neighbours to the North have not been so fortunate.

“Hurricane Irma has set a record as the strongest to have occurred in the open Atlantic and was devastating to those in its path,” the minister observed.

She told St Lucia Times that while hurricanes are not a new phenomenon in this region, climate change is making the impacts of these events even worse.

“While we hear that it is impossible to attribute a particular tropical storm or hurricane to climate change, it absolutely cannot be denied that climate change is making the consequences of these events in the region worse,” Rigobert stated.
The minister explained that these impacts will continue to worsen as a result of increasing green house gas emissions.
According to her the science is clear on why.
In citing the reasons, Rigobert said average sea surface temperatures have been rising as a result of climate change, and warmer seawater promotes stronger storms.
The minister observed that warmer seas contributed to the intensity of Maria and Irma and also the speed at which those storms became so intense.
 “We all know that a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapour. This in turn can result in heavier rainfall. So now even a mild tropical storm can dump a huge volume of water – leading to more dangerous flooding, landslides and loss of life, ” Rigobert told St Lucia Times.
She added that storm surges have worsened as a result of sea level rise.
Rigobert said that sea levels have been gradually rising as a result of climate change, making storm surges bigger and deadlier.
She stated that wind from storms pushes seawater against coasts, and with sea level rise, the impact of storm surge is even greater.
“We firmly believe that there is a need to do far more in the international arena and in large-emitting countries around the world to reduce the green house gas emissions that are driving this monster,” the minister declared.
She observed that in the Paris Agreement all countries agreed to pursue a limitation of temperature increases to below 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels.
” We expect all countries to take this goal to heart.  The devastation we have seen in the Caribbean over the last two weeks underscores the urgency of the challenge.  We in Saint Lucia are doing what we can – we are moving as quickly as we can to renewable energy and adopting efficiency measures to contribute to these global efforts.  But we need all countries to take urgent action and to deliver even greater emission reductions than they have previously pledged, because in the absence of concerted global effort –  and it will certainly take all of us to deliver this effort — the future does not bear thinking about in our region,” Rigobert said.

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    September 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm Reply

    New Testament Verse of the Day:
    “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”

    – Matthew 6: 14

  2. T frank
    September 24, 2017 at 8:45 am Reply

    Gail you’re a joke!!!!!!! Nobody takes u seriously

    1. William
      September 25, 2017 at 8:24 am Reply

      That comment is a bit rude T frank! Gail explained the reason behind the bigger storms above and has outlined a solution which makes sense. I live in the UK and know exactly what she is talking about with regard to the horror of these storms and by St Lucia taking a lead with renewable energy, it will also motivate other nations to do the same. So please don’t knock people who are saying and trying to do good. Gail is clearly very educated and has earned her way to her position with her common sense and achievement of a Doctorate degree (not easy at all). We all need to work together positively to tackle this problem rather than undermine and criticise which is a negative non-constructive mindset. Constructive criticism is useful but not saying someone is a ‘joke’. As my Dad would say, it takes a joker to know a joker. So who is the joke here 🙂 No need to respond.

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