Things are heating up in Barbados. No, I don’t mean politically or for Crop Over. Things are heating up from a climate perspective. If you’re like me, maybe you’ve felt that the last few years have been hotter. Reports of global temperature rises aren’t new. However, there’s an absence of readily available analysis at the local level.
Rather than simply accepting the qualitative answer: “Yes, it feels hotter…” I want to quantitatively answer the question: “Has the average temperature in Barbados changed over time?” The answer is yes, it has changed based on average temperature data obtained from the World Bank. Several data sets covering the periods 1901-1930, 1931-1960, 1961-1990 and 1991-2015 were downloaded in Excel format. These files were then combined into one Excel sheet and basic charts were created starting with the one below:
Click on the chart above to view the full size version which you can zoom into. Either way it’s clear: average temperatures in Barbados have risen. The chart below “zooms” out and looks at the data over several decades. Visually the changes look significant, but if we look at the values on the y-axis we can see that the actual values and the changes are minor. However, minor changes in temperature can have major impacts.
Finally, the chart below is from NASA’s Climate website. It shows global temperatures from the 1900s to the 2000s.