The Potential Effects Of Climate Change On The Habitat In Southern Mexico
Free (open access)
159 - 170
J. F. Audefroy
This study evaluates the potential effects of climate change on the habitat and human settlements in Mexico through an analysis of three regions that are vulnerable to hydrometeorological hazards, such as droughts, floods and hurricanes. The research process included fieldwork in the states of Oaxaca, Tabasco and Yucatán, and a historical study of hydrometeorological events in each region. We sought to identify a means of interpreting these events linked to climate variability on the basis of the history of disasters, the environment and the habitat. The local climatic indications were compared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s global successes to show that contradictions do not exist but that it is difficult to apply the IPCC’s findings at a local level, given the considerable margin of uncertainty. The indications of the effects of climate change make it possible to foresee that the most vulnerable populations will be the ones facing the strongest impact in the future. Our research has direct implications on urban and housing policies, offering a roadmap to design climate change adaptation strategies; the possibility for adaptation not only requires political commitment, but is also related to social and economic development and an “integral risk management” approach, rather than a “civil protection” strategy.
climate change, habitat, risks, hydrometeorological hazards, Mexico