Showing posts from February, 2019

Recovery Times After Catastrophic Events in the Caribbean Islands

by Josh Mueller

Natural Threats to Caribbean Islands

Hurricanes throughout the Caribbean are recognized as the dominant ecological cause of ecosystem and economic disruption [1, 2]. For example, recent storms such as hurricane Irma in September 2017 broke records of sustained hurricane size and wind speed for Atlantic Ocean tropical depressions. Irma caused significant economic damage with estimates in the range of over $100 billion in costs and damages throughout the Caribbean islands (Figure 1). The hurricane also resulted in over 130 human casualties making it one of the deadliest and costliest ever recorded. Yet, what remains unknown are the lingering economic and ecological costs from ecological threats to many of the island nations whose markets depend greatly on the tourism industry. Additionally, little is known regarding the future behavior of hurricanes as global climate change continues to influence atmospheric and oceanic conditions.

Wildfires, both naturally occurring and h…