#Kingston, March 24, 2019 – Jamaica – Jamaicans are being encouraged to engage in climate smart activities for World Meteorological Day, to be observed on March 23.
“We encourage persons to conserve on energy. If you don’t have to do any unnecessary driving on World Meteorological Day, don’t do so. You can also plant a tree or two, so that when they grow, we will have another set of trees that will remove some of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and put some oxygen in it,” Head of the Applied Meteorology Section in the Meteorological Service Division, Ronald Moody, told JIS News.
The World Meteorological Organization has designated this year’s theme as ‘The Sun, the Earth and the Weather’, with a focus on the range of effects from the interconnectedness of the three elements.
Mr. Moody said that meteorological research has shown an increase in mean global surface temperature by approximately one degree Celsius since the mid-20th century. Scientists project that if the trend continues, we could experience temperature increases anywhere between three and five degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century.
“Even for Jamaica, there has been an increase in temperatures. When we look at the State of the Climate Report that was done in 2015 by the Climate Studies group, it shows that minimum temperature across Jamaica has increased by 0.26 degree Celsius, while maximum temperature has increased by about 0.06 degree Celsius per decade. What that is suggesting for us is that the nights are getting warmer in Jamaica,” Mr. Moody said.
While acknowledging that temperatures are rising, studies of the sun over the last 30 years have determined that its energy output has not increased. There is another contributor to global increase in temperatures.
“Scientists have attributed this to an increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) and the main GHG that is responsible is carbon dioxide. This increase has been as a result of human activities over the decades. There is also the situation of the use of fossil fuels, and their byproduct is carbon dioxide. We have seen deforestation taking place across the world, and trees were the main source of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” he noted.
Mr. Moody underscored the Division’s commitment to providing the country with timely weather forecasts and climate products, so that the information is readily and easily accessible.
The Metrological Service has been working with a number of agencies to further this commitment, including the Climate Studies Group, Mona; the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
“We are trying to be proactive in providing information and products that can play a role in our clients’ decision-making. We have, in recent times, narrowed weather forecasting to the community level through an app, so persons can access information for their communities. There is also the Smart Alert app where you can find all the severe-weather-warning messages issued by the Met Service,” Mr. Moody said.
The apps can be accessed by visiting agrilinksja.com and alert.metservice.gov.jm.
Contact: Charnele Henry
Photo: Head of the Applied Meteorology Section in the Meteorological Service Division, Ronald Moody, speaks with JIS News.
Photographer: Charnele Henry