Droughts, high temperatures forecasted in Cuba
www.chinaview.cn 2008-03-21 10:01:36
Special Report: Fight against Global Warming
HAVANA, March 20 (Xinhua) — After a year of intense rainfalls,
Cuba is threatened by "La Nina" climate phenomenon as experts predict it
will cause a more intense drought and favor hurricane formations.
"La Nina" causes rainfalls to decrease in this Caribbean country,
especially between January and April, according to experts from Cuba's
National Climate Center (CNC) quoted on Thursday by the press.
"La Nina" is the negative phase of "El Nino" climatic phenomenon
and it is caused by decrease of temperatures in the Pacific Ocean's
equatorial surface since it changes the direction and speed of winds in
the intertropical zone.
In the past two months, "El Nino" has caused heavy rainfalls
triggering damage in Asia's, Africa's and America's equatorial Pacific
In Cuba, "La Nina" episode normally causes drier conditions because
"El Nino" and "La Nina" weather phenomena appear almost every two
The CNC stated a week ago that February, 2008, was the hottest ever
since 1951 with an average temperature pf 24.9 degrees Celsius.
The average yearly temperature increased 0.6 and 0.7 degrees
Celsius since 1951 and by 2010 the temperature is expected to increase
between 1.6 and 2.5 degrees.
According to the World Meteorology Organization the "La Nina"
phenomenon will continue at least until late June of 2008.
Experts believe climate changes are caused by global warming that
is caused by atmospheric pollution.
Rainfalls and intense droughts are among the main climate changes
currently affecting Cuba.
Temperatures increased noticeably in Cuba during the 20th century,
especially since the 1970s, while 1998 was the hottest in this Caribbean
country, with an average 26.94 Celsius degrees per day.
Cuban inhabitants feel hotter summers and wonder why the winters
(rainy seasons) are shorter.
Cuban weather experts believe this Caribbean country's future
winter phases will be shorter, while summers will have suffocating hot
temperatures due to the climatic change.
The past decade's more intense droughts are calling experts'
attention, especially in the eastern region, due to the decrease of
In 2005, Cuba suffered "La Nina's" most recent visit causing the
worse drought in the past 100 years, with a 26.7 percent rainfall decrease.
In 2005, officials used tank trucks to hand over drinking water to
some 2.6 million inhabitants.
The drought, affecting Cuba's eastern region hardest, left losses
for 1.350 billion U.S. dollars, according to official sources.
In 2007, "El Nino" caused heavy rainfalls in Cuba with damages for
some 499 million dollars in housing, communications, highways and
Experts warned Cuba will register extreme weather periods, droughts
with high temperatures or very active hurricane seasons.
"La Nina" will probably increase the temperature in the Atlantic
Ocean increasing the oceans' evaporation and triggering hurricanes in
Historically, hurricanes are the climatic phenomena that affect
Cuba most. Cuba was hit by four strong hurricanes in the 2001-2005 period.
Cuban officials are currently saving drinking water and amplifying
the main (water) supply systems to the main cities to face possible