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        Ryan Johnson

        climate change

        The Caribbean and Climate Change

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        Climate Change has dominated the news recently with activists like Greta Thunberg and others making impassioned pleas to world leaders to make substantive changes to how we fulfill our energy needs. The general consensus is that we need to move to alternative, sustainable energy sources like solar, or wind.

        Climate Change or more precisely anthropogenic Climate Change is defined as the man-made result of releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is due primarily to burning fossil fuels, converting forestland to pastures, and monoculture cropland.

        Though Climate Change is often used interchangeably with Global Warming, Climate Change is the umbrella term, while Global Warming is an aspect of Climate Change. One of the biggest indicators that Climate Change is man-made is that it has rapidly increased since the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 20th century.

        Climate Change has some unique applications for the Caribbean, and if left unchecked can have dire consequences for life here in the islands. In this article, we will delve into some of the major consequences of Climate Change.

        Rising Sea Levels

        Sea levels have been rising continuously since the early 1900s. There are three main reasons that sea levels are rising due to warming: oceans are expanding, ice sheets are losing ice, and glaciers are melting. Since 1900, there has been approximately 17-21 cm, but alarmingly 7.5 cm has come since 1993.

        The Caribbean, because it is made up of islands, is particularly at risk of rising sea levels. Sea level rise in the Caribbean can have a disastrous effect on our beaches and, if left unchecked, can change life as we know it. With a rise comes the increased likelihood of coastal flooding from storm surges and pollution of precious groundwater.

        Severe Hurricane Seasons

        The 2020 hurricane season will mark the 5th consecutive year that we will experience an above-average hurricane season here in the Caribbean. Scientists have attributed this to global warming. The average temperature of the ocean and the layer of air just above the sea surface has risen and is contributing to more powerful storms and hurricanes. As a result, the average direct hits to Jamaica has just above tripled over the last decade.

        Rise in Temperatures

        Global warming means just that – it’s going to get hotter. The direct consequence is that our personal comfort is going to be affected. Sun protection products like Habitat Screens and rollshutters can help. Environmental controls like central air or air conditioning units can also help to mitigate the effects of a hotter world.

        Irregular Seasons

        In the Caribbean, we have just two seasons – the dry season and the wet season. Currently, they are pretty regular, but with climate change, we can look forward to a shorter rainy season and a longer dry season. The rainy season will be more severe and will result in increased flash flooding and sediment reaching the groundwater supply. The change in seasonal duration will also result in disruptions to agriculture and ultimately our food sources. Even if we counter this with increased imports, it is a loss for our local farmers and a more expensive option to feed the public.

        Loss of Natural Beauty

        Over time, climate change will result in the degradation of our beaches and natural scenery, which will have negative effects on our tourism product. Some scientists also predict that there will be loss of flora and fauna that are indigenous to the Caribbean.

        Conclusion

        It is critical that we take action now to curb the effects of climate change in the Caribbean. Only through energy transformation and responsible governance as a global community can we hope to stave off this grim future and leave a healthy world for our kids and grandkids.

        security rollshutters

        How To Get The Most From Security Rollshutters

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        In today’s world, it is becoming more and more important to protect and secure your property. Burglaries and break-ins are rising in frequency and homeowners are always on the lookout for a security system that works.

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        2019 hurricane season

        100 Years Later: 1919 Vs 2019 Hurricane Season

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        With the 2019 Hurricane Season firmly in the rearview mirror, we are tempted to look back at previous years and compare data, but normally we only tend to compare a span of a few years, hoping to see trends that may help us to better predict the coming Hurricane Seasons. But what significant changes might we see if we did a head to head comparison of this last hurricane season with its predecessor 100 years ago?

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        security shutters

        How Rollshutters Can Secure Your Home

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        Looking for and buying the right home is, more often than not, a challenge on its own. From house inspections to installing security systems in your home, you will need to put a lot of time and effort into your home to ensure that it is just the way you want it to be.

        Accessories that people often overlook when renovating their house are security shutters, thinking that they are not useful. On the contrary, security rollshutters can be a very integral part of your home and offer a variety of different benefits; the most important being security.

        Keep Your Home Secure

        A rollshutter system is comprised of metal slats that are closed and kept under pressure. Security shutters are most often seen on the exterior of shops and businesses to keep it secure when they close. While aluminum rollshutters are more commonly used for commercial purposes, they are also becoming immensely popular among homeowners in the Caribbean.

        The main reason for this immense surge in popularity is because of the security that they provide. With the help of a quality rollshutter system, you can ensure that no one will be able to enter your home. Thanks to the use of aluminum, which is light and strong, rollshutters are incredibly durable and come with various features that will ensure that your house remains safe at all times.

        Rolling shutters are more commonly placed on windows and doors to keep burglars from entering your premises. Both manual and motorized roll shutters are made of aluminum and a dense polyurethane core. That being said, the materials used in different rollshutter systems change depending on the brand and of course, price. More expensive rollshutters are more durable and less likely to malfunction; they also have applications through which you can control them like remote controls, and sun sensors.

        Unlike security alarms that sound when someone is on the premises, the mere presence of rollshutters actively deter criminal elements from even trying. Another benefit of using roller shutters is that at the push of a button you can easily retract our security shutters, removing from sight when they aren’t needed.

        Conclusion

        Rollshutters are gaining in popularity when it comes to home security. Although a home alarm is also a very important security measure for your home, nothing beats a quality rollshutter system for both security and hurricane protection.

        With the increasing rate of gun violence in the country, rollshutters are an investment that every home owner in the Caribbean can make to ensure their safety.

        Rollshutters over windows

        Alternative Energy and Me

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        Due to the rising concerns of global warming, people have become a lot smarter in their approach to efficient energy for housing, i.e. alternative energy.

        Clean energy in countries like the United States and Canada is a lot more common than most people think. Due to the rising prices for electricity in both the countries, as well as rising expenses, residents are using alternative means of electricity to power their houses.

        This begs the question, what kind of energy system should you install?

        Finding the Right Alternative Energy System

        Finding the right alternative energy system at times comes down to personal preference and situational dependence. This means that colder regions in the United States may not benefit as much from alternative energy systems, like solar panels. With that said, here are some alternative energy systems that go well with any house:

        1.      Wind Turbines

        Wind turbines, while not the most common, are certainly a good investment when it comes to alternative energy. Cities in Canada like Halifax, Hamilton, or Edmonton are great potential candidates for wind turbines seeing how they are some of the windiest cities in the country. On the other hand, states like Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota are incredibly windy, making wind turbines a great choice.

        Moreover, you will not need an excessively large wind turbine to power your house. You can always ask an expert what would be the optimal size of a windmill for your house. But the size of the wind turbine will vary greatly depending on your house.

        2.      Solar Panels

        When it comes to alternative energy, in most cases, solar energy is always the safer bet. Seeing how most modern solar panels are incredibly efficient, you don’t even need to depend on electricity with the right number of solar panels.

        However, if you feel you don’t need solar panels for electricity, you can always use it for other purposes like heating your water. The possibilities with solar panels are immense, complemented by how efficient it is. An added bonus of adding solar panels to your home is they make absolutely no noise, unlike wind turbines.

        3.      Hydro Power

        Hydro Power is a niche form of alternative energy, mainly because it largely depends on the location. Seeing how a hydro turbine needs fast flowing water to function properly, it only makes sense that hydro power depends largely on where you reside.

        If you happen to live near a river or stream, a hydro power turbine is possibly one of the best alternative energy investments that you can make. Due to the speed of the current heavily influencing the energy that you will receive, it will not even have any downtime, unlike solar panels.

        Conclusion

        Alternative energy is one of the best ways for you to help the environment as well as save a little money along the way. With more efficient and comparatively cheaper energy methods now available, there is no reason for you not to invest in clean energy.

        awnings

        How Awnings can Expand your Living Space

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        There is no denying that doors and windows do not only take the spotlight, but are also often given more importance when it comes to renovating your house. Other things like awnings are rarely given any limelight. However, awnings can play a crucial role if chosen carefully.

        Awnings can be a valuable addition to your outdoor space and must be considered more than just temporary canopies. If chosen and placed properly, an awning can be an asset to your outdoor decoration. That means whether it is your house, office or any other architectural design, awnings are a smart idea to expand your living space.

        Before we plunge into the details why you should opt for awnings, let us understand what they are.

        What are Awnings?

        The words awning is often interchangeably used with canopy. However, an awning is much more than just a canopy. They are not free standing structures like canopies. They are primarily mounted on a patio or an outside window.

        Unlike canopies, awnings are permanent structures designed to provide shade or to cover the outdoor space throughout the season. Canopies, on the other hand, can be assembled and dissembled depending on shade requirements.

        Why You Should go for Awnings?

        Expand Outdoor Space

        When the sun’s scorching heat beats down your yard, an awning can make your patio a shaded oasis. It does not only protect you from the sweltering heat, but also gives a decorative touch to your house.  That is to say, an awning is a smart idea to expand the outdoor space.  Increasing the size of your livable area, awnings effectively adds a customized outdoor space.

        Entertain Guests

        If you aspire to be a good host to impress your guests, an awning is undeniably a surefire way to utilize the space around your house. They provide an additional cover that allows you to arrange grand events. Your guests will enjoy an outdoor area as an awning offers great protection from heat, rainfall, and UV rays. Besides this, most awnings come with shielding and screening to provide protection against bugs and winds.

        Aesthetics

        In addition to providing protection and space, an awning is a great way to make your outdoor space aesthetically beautiful. As they are designed with a variety of accessories and fabrics, they allow you to exhibit your taste and unique style. They come in a number of eye-catching designs to help you enhance the overall curb appeal of your house.

        Added Value

        Even if you do not intend to sell your house, awnings are one way to increase the market value of your property. A house with an awning is comparatively more attractive and valuable in terms of fetching a hefty price. To put it simply, potential buyers prefer to purchase houses with awnings; this is especially true if they relish on spending afternoons and nights on their patios.

        Final Thoughts

        All in all, awnings offer multiple benefits and make your house an ideal place to live in. From adding dependable protection to enhancing aesthetic appeal, they add tremendous value to your house.

        Global Warming making hurricanes stronger

        How Climate Change is making for more Intense Hurricane Seasons

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        What is Climate Change?

        The state of the atmosphere including its humidity, temperature, rainfall and wind is called weather. Climate change refers to changes in weather and other related changes in oceans and lands.

        The main culprit behind climate change is global warming, which results in several negative consequences on biological, physical and human systems.

        Facts about Climate Change

        Global climate fluctuates naturally over time. However, the changes may require years or even decades to take place. Such natural variations generally originate through 2 ways: From external influences, such as variations in the energy received from the sun and through internal fluctuations that exchange water, energy, and carbon between the land, ice and atmosphere.

        Human activities have a major role in climate change. The emission of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere modify the concentrations of aerosols and affects the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface.

        Myths about Climate Change

        • Solar and wind farms are expensive. They are not as efficient as coal, nuclear or oil.
        • Our environment will adapt to climate change.
        • Carbon dioxide is a green gas which plants and trees need to grow.
        • The term ‘Global Warming’ was invented to make money.

        Naturally, all such claims are nothing but misconceptions that have no scientific proof. In fact, a few myths are so absurd that scientists choose to ignore them and do not offer any clarification.

        Impact of Climate Change on Natural Disasters

        Climate change has also resulted in extreme weather events. Every year, the annual temperature records are being broken and there seems to be no end. One thing is for sure. The present scenario is getting serious for politicians and scientists as today’s top industries have massive challenges to overcome.

        Measures are taken to stop the negative environmental impacts and eco-friendly businesses are striving hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to nurture a safe and healthy environment.

        Climate Change and Hurricanes

        Hurricanes are large rotating storms that have deadly outcomes. Last year, almost 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico due to a Category 5 Hurricane Maria. Maria damaged almost 95% of Dominica’s building structures.

        Category 5 hurricanes are rare, but brutal hurricanes. We’ve already witnessed three in the past decade. While scientists are working to make more discoveries, there is ample data to believe that this sudden increase in storms and hurricanes could be attributed to climate change.

        Oceans all across the globe continue to warm at a faster rate every year. This means that we are at the risk of experiencing more storms and hurricanes in the future.

        Final Thoughts

        Sustainable waste management is also a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment for our future generations. Choosing renewable energy sources also cuts down carbon emissions.

        Global industries and production companies must adapt eco-friendly operations so as not to damage the environment any more. In case our climate keeps warming, we are sure to experience intense and more destructive hurricanes.

        Talius Hurricane Shutter

        Are We in the Caribbean Hurricane Ready

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        The Caribbean islands are incredibly beautiful vacation destinations. Luxurious resorts and wonderful local vibes make it a great place for residents and tourists alike. However, recent hurricanes with record-breaking wind speeds have caused significant damage to the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean.

        Last year, hurricanes Maria and Irma wreaked havoc on the Caribbean island. Buildings and homes in Dominica were damaged beyond repair and the entire island’s annual agricultural production suffered a huge loss.

        Barbuda’s entire population was evacuated to Antigua and other islands. Findings revealed by the World Bank suggest that Irma led to losses equivalent to 14% of GDP for Barbuda and Antigua, and around 200% of GDP for Dominica. The growing occurrence of hurricanes poses great risks to the security of 40 million people living in the region and the island’s economic development.

        Development institutions and the World Bank were prompt to act and provided support to evaluate losses and damages. However, there is a great need to focus on preparing the Caribbean island and building infrastructure that resist the effects of natural disasters and that can be called hurricane ready.

        Government authorities are striving to protect the island from the disastrous effects of climate change.  Building more resilient infrastructures will definitely prove to be more cost-effective than continually rebuilding weak structures which can be destroyed by hurricanes and storms.

        The architecture of a hurricane-proof building or home must feature systems that sustain the effects of a hurricane. The elements that require the most attention are doors, windows and roofs.

        Glass doors and windows are also vulnerable to flying objects. Homeowners can choose impact-resistant glass. However, this is an expensive solution. Another way to protect your home or building is to cover the glass with storm shutters.

        People living in the Caribbean should also pay special attention to secure doors and window frames. Residents should also ensure that all lightweight roofs are securely fastened to the walls.

        How to Stay Safe during a Hurricane?

        The best course of action to be hurricane ready is prevention. Investing in robust and durable shutters is a great way to protect your family and house. Make sure you install good quality hurricane shutters around your house well before the hurricane season starts.

        Moreover, every household or a commercial building in the Caribbean must be equipped with a backup generator that powers through an outage. Talius provides all the basic amenities you need to survive the fury and devastation of a storm or hurricane.

        A reliable and robust Generac generator meets the power demands of businesses and consumers alike. The brand is committed to manufacturing innovative designs and machines that are environmentally friendly. The automatic version comes in handy when you can’t go outside to turn it on manually, especially during a hurricane.

        At Talius, we offer premium products so everyone in the Caribbean can protect their houses and buildings.

        Final Thoughts

        Don’t forget to stock up on other emergency supplies including protective clothing, water, food, medications, flashlights, tools and other important accessories to stay safe during a hurricane in the Caribbean.

         

        Hurricanes affecting children

        How Hurricanes Impact Children and What You Can Do

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        The impending arrival of a major storm or a hurricane can be a very stressful time for anyone, and children are not immune to this. In fact, it can probably be argued that children are perhaps the most susceptible to psychological trauma associated with natural disasters. Trauma occurs when there is sufficiently a scary or dangerous situation. Hurricanes and other major weather phenomena can provide lots of scary and dangerous situations for kids – especially with all of the sensational imagery out there on news channels and other media.

        Adults understand the potential loss of property and potential harm or injury that can occur with the advent of a hurricane. Children have a basic understanding of these risks but the problem gets compounded when they are kept out of the loop, and instead of being part of the discussion they end up sometimes pushed to one side. Even if this is inadvertent, the damage is still done.

        Though the trauma can affect a child before, during, and after the hurricane; it is the aftermath of the storm that parents or guardians need to be mindful of. Children are resilient but there can be outbursts or strong emotions that can be symptoms of the uncertainty that children feel especially if there has been widespread and life-altering damage. Parents should pay attention to changes in behavior like bedwetting for kids under 6, temper tantrums, changes in appetite in both directions, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, problems focusing, and a fear that a hurricane may happen again in the short term.

        What Can You Do?

        Here are a few suggestions for what you can do to lessen the trauma in the aftermath of a hurricane:

        • It may seem silly to some adults, but sometimes children can blame themselves for bad things happening. It is the duty of every parent to let their kids know that they are completely blameless and none of it was their fault.
        • Some children may have difficulty expressing negative emotions at this time. You should let your child know that all emotions are perfectly fine and understandable.
        • Young children may be clingy and might need to be around their parents on a continual basis (some may even need to sleep in the same bed for a while after). If possible, concessions should be made to make kids as comfortable as possible after the storm.
        • Set up a regular time each day to discuss your child’s feelings towards recent events surrounding the hurricane and its effects. Ideally, it should well before bedtime, and in a quiet place devoid of distractions.
        • Most importantly, you need to reassure children that they are safe and that the likelihood of another disaster happening again is low. Children crave a safe, structured environment and even if we, as parents, can’t always provide it, we should make all efforts to let our kids feel safe and secure.

        All children aren’t the same and many can go through a hurricane and come out with no psychological trauma, but for those that do come out with some ill effects, we hope that this article will help you.

         

        hurricanes stronger than typhoons

        Hurricanes Stronger Than Typhoons For The First Time

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        A remarkable thing has occurred regarding cyclones. For the first time in modern history, north Atlantic hurricanes were recorded as being stronger than south Pacific typhoons.

        What’s the Difference Hurricanes and Typhoons?

        Strictly speaking, cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons are all synonyms for the same thing. The difference stems from the location of the three systems. All of them are intense low-pressure systems, but hurricanes form in the North Atlantic, while typhoons form in the South Pacific Ocean. In the curious case of Hurricane Genevieve, this hurricane formed in the Atlantic and traveled all the way to the Pacific, where it crossed the international dateline and suddenly became Super Typhoon Genevieve.

        Which is Stronger?

        Generally, typhoons are traditionally stronger than hurricanes, but that dynamic has shifted with last year’s batch of tropical cyclones. Typhoons are usually stronger because of the warmer temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, but this too is changing because of climate change and the heavy reliance of man on fossil fuels.

        The trend of hurricanes being on average stronger than typhoons isn’t expected to be a fluke of 2017 and is expected to continue for some years to come. As greenhouse gases continue to rise in concentration in our atmosphere so will hurricanes continue to gain in strength.

        Coastal regions like Florida and many small islands like Dominica, the British and US Virgin Islands were devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria, and many of these regions are still trying to pick up the pieces from these natural disasters.

        What can be done?

        The question of how to combat climate change is a big, many-layered question; and there is no single, magical answer that will make everything okay. We have spent a long time developing our infrastructure around the fossil fuel industry. However, what is agreed upon is that something to needs to happen. Suggestions, like cutting do2wn on your energy consumption and switching to solar energy or other renewable energy sources, is important, but so is making sure that you are adequately prepared for the hurricane regardless of how strong it is.