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Scientist warns Cancun could disappear due to global warming

Cancun, Q.R. — A Mexican scientist says that global warming should matter to Mexicans since it could affect Cancun and Villahermosa.

The melting of glaciers in Antarctica is leading to a rise in the sea level, which could mean the potential disappearance of places such as Cancun and Villahermosa, said Mexican scientist Sandra Guzmán.

Guzmán, who participated in a 20-day expedition in the Antarctic in May, explained that her work consisted of researching the effects of global warming and documenting the effects of climate change with other established scientists in the region.

She was part of an expedition in Antarctica that involved 80 women scientists from around the world.

She says her findings highlight that the melting of ice in the Antarctic Peninsula, which is caused by the increase of the planet’s temperature, has been continualy accelerated, resulting in the disappearance of huge portions of ice.

Antarctica is a territory that is composed of 90 percent ice with the largest fresh water reserves on the planet, which is between 70 and 80 percent.

This boundless ice extension “helps regulate the climate”, counterbalancing global warming. Unfortunately, it’s melting in an accelerated manner and “in recent years, a strong weakening of the ice has been detected.

“If the temperature continues to rise, the Antarctic will not be enough to balance the climate,” she warned.

Mexican scientist Sandra Guzmán

Another problem she found was the lack of expertise when communicating with governments and society in general about the enormous amount of information being collected at these bases.

“There is a lot of information that is being generated in Antarctica, but not all of this information is public,” said Guzmán who is also the coordinator of the Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean.

She says she wants to identify “these gaps in terms of information” and share the information with international leaders, “starting with the president” of Mexico.

Regarding Mexico, she explained that it’s necessary to account for the increase of tourism in the region that 10 years ago was in the thousands, and now, is in the millions.

She says this is one reason it’s important for Mexico to be part of the Antarctic Treaty, to implement action.

“Maybe many people in Mexico don’t care about that, but just to give datum, with the melting of the glaciers the sea level increases more and more and some cities like Cancun and Villahermosa are on the map of potential disappearance because of this rise in sea level.”

Guzmán added that Mexico should care about the changes that have been detected in Antarctica since the country is vulnerable to hurricane events, which, with these climate alterations, could increase in number and intensity.

“Although we are too late to save many of the ecosystems that are already in severe danger, we can still do something to recover species, to recover ecosystems,” she clarified.