Guillermo Bengochea, a worker at a Puerto Rican weather station, assured that in his 10 years of working at the station, the sensation of heat has been increasing, especially in the last two years.
"Mornings at this time of year used to be much cooler; sometimes you had to put on a sweater. The heat has increased significantly for the last couple of years," emphasized Bengochea, who is dedicated to collecting weather data at a station located in the municipality of Juana Díaz in the south of the country.
The National Weather Service, which has issued both excessive heat watches and warnings for different parts of Puerto Rico, has urged residents to take precautions amid “prolonged periods of dangerously hot temperatures and high humidity.”
"Los datos.. muestran que las temperaturas de la superficie del mar son más altas que nunca en el registro satelital (que data de 1985) a principios de año... Cuando las SST superan la línea horizontal azul sólida, los corales comenzarán a sufrir estrés por calor." https://t.co/CIWusCBOgWpic.twitter.com/GA3h0kHLWL
— Corales del Este Puerto Rico ���� (@CoralesDelEste)
July 18, 2023
The tweet reads, "The data... shows that sea surface temperatures are higher than ever in the satellite record (dating back to 1985) earlier in the year... When SSTs exceed the solid blue horizontal line, corals will begin to experience heat stress."
The report mentions data from the latest Report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which indicates that Latin America and the Caribbean countries are facing a tremendous climate crisis where extreme weather events are worsening.
In this sense, it is announced that the Ministry of Agriculture of Puerto Rico has recently declared that one of the sectors that will mostly be affected by high temperatures is milk production. Ramón González, Secretary of Agriculture of Puerto Rico, recognizes it as follows:
"Milk production has increased or decreased as temperatures change. Until now, dairy cows have always been affected by heat. If the period of high temperatures extends much longer, the decrease in milk production will be more dramatic," he said.
According to the National Meteorological Service, Puerto Rico enters unknown terrain and a new climatic era. The institution called on citizens to assume responsibility and a sense of adaptation to the new challenges to come. The institution also asked political leaders to design concrete measures. "They are not going to be popular decisions; they are going to be difficult, but they have to be done," a representative of the National Meteorological Service told EFE.
This year, the country experienced a record temperature for the month of June, with 46.6 degrees Celsius. This correlates with another part of the climate report, which reveals that in the last 30 years, the average temperature of Latin America and the Caribbean has increased by 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade.
These days, the Puerto Rico Fire Department is constantly alert to the constant occurrence of small fires due to high temperatures. The objective is to prevent large fires in a natural and social context that is quite degraded and delicate.