News

  • The Caribbean region stands to benefit from cutting-edge research and solutions in coastal issues through the partnership between the Dutch research institute Deltares and Jamaica’s Mona GeoInformatics Institute (MGI).

    Oct 18

    Climate change and global warming

    With most populations of Caribbean countries located in coastal areas (70% of Jamaica’s population, for example, work or live in coastal communities), local resources remain exposed to direct threats in the form of the adverse effects of hurricanes, tsunamis, sea level rise, and consequent flooding and coastal erosion.

    Ava Maxam (deputy director of MGI) and Alessio Giardino (Deltares): “Given the increasing impacts ofclimate change and global warming – 2017 being one of the worst years in the region’s history withmuch loss of life and property from natural disasters – such a partnership is much needed to facilitate the long-term development and management of Caribbean coastal zone and resources.”

     

    Read more  

  • Palu’s Destructive Tsunami – the Warning to be Heard Across the World

    Oct 12

    Between September 28thand 29thof 2018, the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia was hit by dozens of earthquakes (see Figure 1), the most significant of which being of 7.5 magnitude and 10 km deep, approximately 80 km north of the coastal city of Palu. These earthquakes occurred along the Palu-Koro fault, which is a strike-slip fault zone, and typically less likely to be at risk for significant tsunami waves. Other conditions, however, increased the risk. Specialists speculate that a submarine landslide occurred within Palu Bay and that the geomorphological feature of the long, semi-enclosed – almost U-shaped bay – heightened the effects of the tsunami, see Figure 2.

    Considering its location in the infamous Ring of Fire, a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where roughly 90% of earthquakes occur, 

    Read more  

  • Sargassum to Systems – Environmental Reporting Gets a Boost in Saint Lucia

    Oct 1

    In the Caribbean, like many other parts of the world, what may be signs of climate change are becoming more apparent and difficult to ignore. Seventeen (17) of the eighteen (18) warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, with 1998 being the exception to this trend. The frequency and severity of natural disasters such as droughts, hurricanes, cyclones, and flooding events are also increasing as global temperatures rise. The increase in global warming-induced natural hazard events also has secondary effects such as flash flooding, landslides, coastal erosion, and the latest phenomenon of Sargassum invasions. Sargassum spp is a genus of brown macroalgae typically found in temperate and tropical areas of the world, originating from the Sargasso Sea near the Bermuda Triangle,

    Read more  

  • Record Rainfall Adds to Waste Problem in Coastal Areas

    Jun 12

    The island of Jamaica experienced record rainfall amounts May 12th to 19th of 2017 following a prolonged period of drought. The island nation was severely impacted by heavy rains associated with a slow-moving trough (see Photo 1). The Jamaica Meteorological Service, in an emergency press conference held Tuesday May 16th, revealed that rainfall amounts received from May 12th to 15th exceeded the mean monthly rainfall for some parishes.

    In the parish of St Mary, for example, where historical monthly rainfall averages 148 mm, the recorded rainfall amount for this single event was 187 mm.  Clarendon, hardest hit of the parishes, recorded a rainfall amount of 155 mm on the 15th (mean for the entire month is 139 mm).

    Read more  

  • Jamaica and the Green Climate Fund

    Sep 30

    With effects of Climate Change presenting serious repercussions on world economies, livelihoods and security, Jamaica, among six other Caribbean countries, have solicited to be a part of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This fund is governed by the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub through its host, the Mauritius government. The capital will be used to facilitate various national projects lined up to combat the effects of Climate Change. Kingston, Jamaica’s commercial centre and most densely populated coastal city, is bracing for Climate Departure by 2023. Climate Departure describes the point in time that the average temperature of the coolest year after 2005 becomes warmer than the historic average temperature of the hottest year, for a specific location. Detailed climate modelling including research carried out by MGI Blue have suggested that the island is likely to experience adverse impacts from intensified weather events of flood rains, Read more  

  • The Negril – Jamaica Breakwater Project Abandoned

    Jul 18

    Beach erosion occurs when waves and currents remove sand from the beach system. The loss of sand causes the beach to become narrower and lower in elevation. Storm waves carry the sand offshore, depositing and storing the sediment in large sandbars. Technically, constructing breakwaters along Negril’s seven miles beach, which has been undergoing dramatic rates of erosion for years, will create implications for the existing reefs in the coastal region.

    The Minister of Science and Technology, Hon Dr Andrew Wheatley stated that the people of Negril should be the primary forces of influence on the decision-making process, particularly the stakeholders in Negril’s vibrant tourism industry who have suggested that a breakwater mechanism will not only have a negative impact on the environment and aesthetics in Negril,

    Read more  

  • The South China Sea/Law of the Sea

    Jul 18

    There are several benefits to China if it is allowed to expand its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), these include: additional sea resources, and increase their trading power amongst neighbouring countries; such as: creating a limit on the trading ships from other countries by Chinese authority. However, the expansion of the border of the South China Sea by United Nations which the Chinese government lobbied for was rejected based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    It is assumed that the Chinese economy has been growing and seems to want to conquer the wider region of the sea as much as possible for growing their economic power. If the Chinese claim was accepted they would control the natural sea-resources such as gas development,

    Read more  

  • Kingston’s Race to Climate Departure

    Jul 7

    The term “climate departure” marks the point at which the earth’s climate begins to enter  into a new state, one where heat records are routinely shattered and what once was considered extreme will become the norm. A city hits climate departure when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. The world’s current climate departure cycle is induced by increasing temperatures from global warming. This has caused ice sheets to melt which have resulted in, among other anomalies, sea level rise and furthermore threatening popular coastlines such as: the Kingston Harbour. The rising sea level along the harbour will eventually lead to the destruction of the various industries, Read more  

  • 5 Years Since the 9.0 Magnitude Japan Earthquake

    Mar 11

    March 11, 2011 (five years ago), a mega earthquake hit the east of Japan with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale – the largest earthquake in recorded history to hit Japan. The earthquake resulted in several spatial land waves and also an enormous tsunami which devastated the east coast of Japan. Generally, earthquakes frequently occur along the coast, prompting the government and private sector to create shelters, break-waters, and evacuation routes. Even with proper active mitigation practices, multiple natural disasters in the past have caused destruction to infrastructure such as homes, factories, fisheries and ports.

    Geophysically, the subducting boundary along the “Ring of Fire” of the Pacific Oceanic Plate that exists near the Japanese peninsula succumbed to built-up pressure,   Read more  

  • Exhibition of MGIBlue’s poster for ‘Protection of Coastal Cities’ at the UWI Research Days Feb 17 – Feb 19, 2016

    Feb 17

    Coastal Dynamics Modelling Laboratory (CDML) conducted a presentation based on the poster, which can be seen below, entitled “Applying Hydrodynamics Modelling Simulations for Protection of our Coastal Cities” at UWI Research Day 2016. Hydrodynamics models simulate these processes spatially and temporally, especially in the populated areas and industrialized areas. The Jamaican southeast coast, including Kingston Harbour and Portland Bight are mostly affected by the coastal environments and the residents living in these areas. These cities and major coastal developments are particularly prone to coastal hazards.

    Read more