LatAm database on climate change unveiled

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 3, 2013
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The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), along with the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and Chile's University of Cantabria, unveiled on Wednesday a new database to track the effects of climate change in Latin America.

The Santiago-headquartered ECLAC said in a statement that the database will help develop measures to prevent or adapt to climate change by measuring, for example, the possible effects of rising sea levels on Latin America's coasts, using historical satellite and buoy information compiled since 1950, and forecasting for the 21st century. The database includes information on coastal dynamics in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as climate variability, coastal vulnerability and exposure to climate change, the impact of climate change in the area and the assessment of foreseeable risks in the future.

The database combines variables such as the annual rise in waves, changes in wind direction, erosion and changes in sediment dynamics, making it possible for researchers to "georeference" the impacts over a detailed area 5 km wide and 30 km long along the region's coastline.

The database is part of a project titled "Effects of climate change on the coast of Latin America and the Caribbean," which includes a series of documents that became available to all interested parties as of Wednesday.

The tool is relevant to territorial planning, engineering requirements and environmental impact evaluation procedures, experts said, adding the database is also useful to the infrastructure sector, for the adjustments that need to be made to existing and future works.

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