Natural Umbrellas to Cool Off the Heat

Trees provide a cool shade to relieve the intense heat originated from the scorching sun in Panama City, Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Even as we speak many people don’t accept that we are on the brink of a global climate change disaster.  The evidence is all around us, yet these people to refuse to accept climate change caused by human actions.  Some of this evidence are typhoons and tsunamis in the South Pacific, huge California wildfires, floods in Europe and Latin America, droughts in Australia, the extinction of wildlife in many countries around the globe, and the devastating hurricanes in the United States.  The names of Katrina, Andrews and Sandy are still fresh in my mind.  New Orleans, Florida, and New Jersey are still licking their wounds caused by these natural disasters.

I recently viewed a documentary in Netflix about the thawing of the Antarctica causing havoc among the Adelaide penguins due to a dramatic change in their ecosystems.  Huge chunks of ice are melting in Antarctica, increasing the levels of the oceans and the destruction of extensive areas of sea ice.  As the Antarctica continues to melt, the population of krill and phytoplankton are dangerously dwindling.  As you probably know, phytoplankton are the world largest producers of oxygen.  They produce oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide which sinks to the bottom of the oceans where it remains for millions of years.

In Panama, we are in the middle of one of the worst droughts in the country.  On September 6th, the Panama Canal will restrict 18.5 percent of large ships transiting the canal, due to the low level of Gatun Lake.  Many communities in the country are alarmed by the drying up of wells, lakes and rivers.  Nobody cared about saving water until now.

Many Kuna Yala communities are returning to Panama mainland before their islands are below water.  As a result of rising sea levels, some islands and now submerged under ocean water.  The trend will continue as the polar ice caps continue to thaw.  Unfortunately the damage has already been done—there’s no use crying over spilled milk.  Our only options now is to adapt and mitigate the destruction caused by global climate change.

Most pundits in Panama agree that El Niño weather phenomenon will continue to hit the country for several months ahead.  This means that water will have to be managed with upmost care.  Without water there is no life.  Yep.  There are choppy waters ahead.


4 thoughts on “Natural Umbrellas to Cool Off the Heat”

  1. Puerto Rico is also in a drastic drought situation with water rationing especially in the San Juan metro area…3 days no water with one day on. Our weather in Illinois has been crazy, as well, with very little rain over the last 6 weeks.

    You are right, Omar, that we humans must make a change somehow. Stay well, my friend!

  2. The problem of global climate change is now evident. No wonder the States is making explorations in other planets anticipating the potential destruction of Mother Earth. We have been so irresponsible that we destroyed what God created for us to enjoy. It is very sad Barbara.

    What will we say to our children in the future?



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