Jamaica is likely to undergo a warming and drying trend and is expected to endure more frequent droughts, rainfalls with increased intensity, and rising sea levels. The North Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 to November 30) coincides with Jamaica’s rainy season and the Caribbean seas highest levels of conducive and convective activity. Prolonged rainfall events of more than two days are associated with 67% of severe flooding events (46% of these were from hurricanes and tropical depressions). Instances of extreme rainfall can cause flooding. (State of the Jamaican Climate)
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- Historically, the southern portions of the island have the highest incidence of hurricanes. Most major storms have been of categories 3 and 4 strength.
- The length of dry spells is expected to increase during traditionally dry months of March and October. Decreases in rainfall by end of century are expected to be larger in central and western parts of the island.
- Between 2001 and 2012, Jamaica experienced 11 storm events (including 5 major hurricanes) and several flood and drought events.
- Jamaica lies in the heart of the Atlantic hurricane belt where hurricanes occur from June to November.
- Short-term rain hazards can also be associated with non-cyclonic tropical waves and depressions. These often trigger hazardous events (floods and landslides) if they occur after a prolonged period of heavier-than-normal rainfall events.
- According to IPCC, it is likely that that tropical cyclone related rainfall rates will increase with greenhouse warming.
- Rising sea levels increase the rate of shoreline erosion, amplify the impact of storm surges and coastal flooding and increase the frequency of sea level extremes.
- The downscaling experiments of Bender et al. (2010) project a 28% reduction in the overall frequency of Atlantic storms and an 80% increase in the frequency of Saffir-Simpson category 4 and 5 Atlantic hurricanes over the next 80 years using the A1B scenario.
- Reduction in precipitation can have impacts on agricultural productivity, increasing the likelihood of drought which can threaten food security.
- Increasing temperatures will have impact on fresh water resources, tourism, human health, and social security.
- Women in drought affected areas have water carrying responsibilities which limits ability to earn and diversify her income.