Cape Verde

Climate Change Brings Both Flood and Thirst

Language Portuguese
September 15, 2011 7 p.m. local time

© 1988 WikiCommons/Holger Reineccius cc by sa 3.0

Most people know Cape Verde through the popular “barefoot diva,” Cesária Évora, a famous singer of mournful songs called “mournos” who calls Cape Verde home.

Cape Verde is a chain of ten volcanic islands located off the coast of Senegal in western Africa. Despite its name (verde means green in Portuguese), most of Cape Verde is sandy and dry with very little annual rainfall.

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When you only get a few days of rain a year, like some of the islands in Cape Verde, any change in climate is a big deal. Cape Verde is expected to get warmer and drier, worsening existing water shortages. But at the same time, this tiny nation is vulnerable to flooding from storms and sea level rise. Whether it brings too much water or not enough, climate change is trouble for this country heavily dependent on foreign aid.

Presented by Jose Ramon

Jose Ramon is professor of Health Education at the University of Las Palmas Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. For years, Jose was a prestigious international lecturer on tobacco control, and he has found that companies that deny climate change today are using the same tactics to confuse the public. He decided to devote his efforts to using scientific evidence to convince people about the reality and magnitude of climate change. His project, Campus of Excellence, helps talented young people succeed through exposure to experts in their fields, including Nobel laureates.