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, including the international air and shipping ports, if steps are not taken to rectify the arising issues.
A Caribbean Sustainability Network stated that Kingston, Jamaica is on track to be the second city in the world to reach its climate departure by 2023 and this is one race Kingston does not want to win. The map below is from a Washington Post article that shows the estimated year that this tipping point will affect specific cities around the world. This is based on current projections from a study out of the University of Hawaii led by biologist Camilo Mora which shows that the tropics will be at the epicentre of global warming and will bear the brunt of the initial related changes. The Caribbean region lies in the tropical belt identified as areas that will experience extreme climates before 2050. This raises regional concerns for water scarcity, changes in food supply, social and health issues from the increased spread of infectious diseases, heat stress, conflicts related to scarce resources and a variety of other economic challenges.