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Observations and opinions of Montegonian interest

In Hot Water

…Why we need storms Ask most Jamaicans how they feel about the absence of even a near miss by a hurricane in the last few years, and they’ll tell you they feel pretty lucky. Ask that same question to somebody with a coral reef to look after, and you might get a...

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Wood and Water

…Plant a tree and breathe easier Last Friday, October 6, was National Tree Planting Day in Jamaica and Saturday, October 7 was National Wood and Water Day. These special days celebrate Jamaica’s natural heritage as a forested country, a fortunate nation with bountiful...

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Cockpit Country

…In praise of yellow snakes Last week’s discussion led a reader to suggest that the Jamaican boa has almost as big a stake in efforts to preserve Cockpit Country as the Jamaican iguana had in the preservation of Portland Bight. The Jamaican boa is listed as...

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Another Good Fight

Saving Cockpit Country There’s a new crusade in town. Cockpit Country, one of Jamaica’s last Great Wild Places, is threatened on all sides and Jamaica Environment Trust is trying to organize some protection for it. JET got some practice a couple of years ago, when the...

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Still Taking Out the Trash

…Where does it all come from? International Coastal Cleanup Day (September 16) in Jamaica was a solid demonstration of community spirit. On 150 sites island-wide, volunteers picked up trash, counted it, bagged it, weighed it and recorded it. The record forms part of a...

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Taking Out the Trash

... the never-ending story Next Saturday, September 16, is International Coastal Cleanup Day. Volunteers around the world will turn out, trash bags and clipboards in hand, to clear garbage and litter from their shores. So far, 149 sites around Jamaica have been...

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Storm Surge

...The really dangerous part of the storm Early last Friday, there were two remarkable recoveries. West Indies played a couple of hours of fairly good cricket, and the remains of Tropical Storm Harvey got re-organized over the Gulf of Mexico. A few hours later, West...

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An Ounce of Prevention

…Preparing for floods As we went to press, Tropical Storm Harvey had sailed through the southern Caribbean and two other disturbances that never got to named storm status had gone by to the north and east. Their only effects on Jamaica were some rough seas and a bit...

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Coral Gardens Revisited

...No quick fix In the last couple of months, an article in the U.S. scientific journal Coral Reefs has caused a mild ripple of excitement in the tropical Atlantic, producing headlines like “Caribbean reefs being restored with coral gardening”. The article reported on...

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People, Get Ready part III (More Storms on the Way)

TOP TEN 2017 CARIBBEAN STORM TARGETS Percentage chance that a storm will track within 50 miles Named Storm Hurricane Major Hurricane Mexico 86% 53% 20% The Bahamas 81% 54% 30% Cuba 79% 53% 28% Honduras 64% 21% 10% Dominican Republic 52% 33% 11% Haiti 46% 27% 12%...

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Dust in the Wind

SAL vs. the hurricanes Last week, we looked at some of the effects of Saharan dust on the Caribbean – soil enrichment, haze, breathing problems and fouled machinery on land, algae growth and plankton blooms in the sea. These effects have been known for decades, but we...

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Dust, and more dust (The Sahara Dust Season)

The Sahara Dust season in the tropical Atlantic generally starts and finishes about a month ahead of the hurricane season. It produces spells of strange weather – there’s a thin haze that isn’t fog, sunrise and sunset produce big stretches of brilliant colour, and a...

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