Out of Paris, Florida will have more floods and diseases, says expert

The state of Florida will suffer a greater incidence of storms, droughts, tropical diseases and floods after leaving the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement, climate expert Henry Briceño told Efe on Friday.

“Getting out of the Paris agreement is putting us on the dark side of history,” said Briceño, a researcher at Florida International University (FIU), following the announcement by President Donald Trump of abandoning the global environmental pact.

Briceño, who said Florida is the country’s most vulnerable state to climate change, said that “there will be stronger and more frequent storms, as well as more intense and more extensive droughts.”

The expert also explained that several factors accentuate the state’s irrigation to climate change, including the topography, the extensive coasts in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and the characteristics of its soil, which is composed of many caves and Is permeable.

He said that these features facilitate flooding, which already affect several Floridian cities when high tides occur due to rising sea levels and will no longer stop with the construction of dikes on the coasts.
“The water rises, it gets into gardens, streets, patios,” Briceño said.

He said that by 2050 the water will be about 30.5 centimeters (one foot) above sea level, and by “gravity more than 60% of the channels will not be able to drain the water.”

Briceño said that getting out of the global agreement is a step backwards to control the human impact on global warming, which is the purpose of the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 by 190 more countries.

“75% of global warming is human,” said Briceño, a researcher at the FIU’s Southwest Environmental Research Center.

He recalled that the agreement agreed to seek to delay climate change and sea level rise a little more, “to make them less extreme with the mitigation measures that would have been taken to reduce the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by industries.”

Washington had committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% by 2025 compared to 2005 levels.

According to Briceño, greenhouse gases should be between 200 and 300 parts per million, but they are currently at more than 406 parts per million.

On the other hand, the scientist said that mosquitoes or vectors of tropical diseases such as zika, malaria and dengue, gradually climb further north due to the increasingly hot climates and more conducive to its spread.
“We are already seeing it, and that will increase,” he said.

He recalled that last April was the second hottest April in history in the world since temperatures were recorded, according to NASA data.

Briceño said that global warming is a “problem of all” and that the United States exit from the agreement must be a call to reconcile and work among all.

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