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Quantification and Effects of Climate Change on Mexico

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 2990 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Topic: Quantify and discuss the effects of climate change upon Mexico. Introduction:

Climate change is a well-known phenomenon and also a crucial worldwide topic in contemporary society. Our planet is heating up year by year, partially as a result of some natural factors, such as the tilting of the Earth, massive volcanic eruptions, and the changing ocean currents. Evidence shows that increased carbon dioxide concentrations, which is the main greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, also contributes to climate change. This phenomenon of increase in temperature is not just simple as we think it is, this change could result in much more than we expect, and it is also concerned by all the nationalities around the world. For our topic, we are aiming to discuss and analyze what are the effects caused by climate change in Mexico from several perspectives. Mexico is a country with population of 120 million. According to Mexico’s chief resilience officer Arnoldo Karmer’s comments to the New York Times, ‘Climate change has become the biggest long-term threat to the city’s future.’ And this associates with a lot of aspects such as air pollution, health, water quality, and other real problems. We are hoping people could learn the importance of what the climate change has led to us to our daily social lives and we can all take actions to help our planet to overcome the issues together.


1) The effect of climate change on Mexico’s environment


Speaking of the temperature, we all live inside a huge solid sphere, which is the earth. The temperature is one of the essential elements for all the living things within our planet. For instance, ourselves as human beings, the growing trees you see by the roads, the animals around you, and even the tiny things such as bacteria which live everywhere are all living things who all live based on the surrounding temperature. Some people may wonder how could just a little variation on the temperature would make a big issue. If the temperature for a cup of coffee changes from 99 to 100 degrees, we don’t tell a difference apparently. But when it comes to the global temperature of the planet we all depend on, this one degree increase or decrease is going to make a huge impact on the environment. As for Mexico, when the temperature increases, which is when we feel warmer than before, we are able to see some fingerprints on its influence on our surroundings.

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Climate scientists observes influence on the sea-level rise, longer and intense wildfire seasons, the devastating droughts and more (citation). Since Mexico is a country boarded to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, the effect of climate change on Mexico’s coastal zone attracts special attention ( This impact is particularly serious given that Mexico is a country with over 11,000 km coastal areas, but without laws been regulated by the government to protect and predict specific climate change in the coastal zone Score.(2010).

Global warming is also highly associated with the ocean acidification ocean warming, and it is becoming another severe problem in Mexico. The ocean acidification not only harm the world’s largest rhodolith, but also cause largely decrease the ability of the edible shellfishTurra et al. (2013) The acidification could also place a threat to the aquaculture activities Turra et al. (2013) and, in addition, the safety of the food Turra et al. (2013)

Meanwhile the coastal habitats of these creatures have been impacted Godoy(2019). Turra et al. (2013) point out that the continuous climate change around the coastal area are often surrounded by sensitive habitats, which could lead to numerous problems such as blenching and diseases in coral reefs. Turra et al. (2013) Latin America marine realms include a wide range of benthic ecosystems. As a result, it highly requires more effort to put in, in order to keep and protect the balance of the biosystem.

These changes could also cause various economic effects in the area. Azuz-Adeath (2019) launched a project in 2008 and completed recommendations in 2010. They focus on 5 different fields of climate change issues: mitigation, adaption, stakeholder support, benefits to the community and also the impacts to coastal biodiversity and natural areas. For the mitigation part, they suggest to take care for the rehabilitation and restoration of coastal areas, for example the coastal wetland, and coastal plains, and also the recovery of hydrological flow disturbed by the coastal agriculture and the oil & gas industries. These activities were taken to protect these regions. These are still ongoing activities with the goal to develop the coastal zone in Mexico to become a healthier ecosystem.

2)  The effect of climate change on Mexico’s water management

There are millions of Mexican people under high risk of inadequate water supply due to climate change. Water supplies has already been strained by the factors like population growth, and climate change undoubtedly makes the situation even more serious. Mendoza-Ponce (2019)

Many articles have been written about climate change and the impact it has on the waterfront populations. However, the coasts are not the only places affected. The canal was based on gravity. Mexico City is a city that is high in the mountains, in the center of the country and a mile and a half above sea level. It could be a perfect example since it was sinking, collapsing in on itself due to climate change. As the time passes, the sinking rate is getting faster and faster,

but the canal is only a victim of a vicious cycle. Due to the shortage of water, Mexico city keep drilling deeper to get water which weakens the ancient clay lake beds. The worse thing is that people have been building cities on top of this fragile crust which causes the area to crumble even further. Kimmelman (2017)

The climate changes have worsened the cycle. More heat and drought means more evaporation and more demand of water adds pressure to tap distant reservoirs at staggering costs or further drain underground aquifers and hasten the city’s collapse. One study predicts that 10 percent of Mexicans ages 15 to 65 could eventually try to emigrate north as a result of rising temperatures, drought and floods, which might heighted the already extreme political tensions over immigration. Kimmelman (2017)

Furthermore, water insecurity leads to food insecurity, and agriculture is being directly affected as well. In 2011, Mexico had experienced the worst drought in its history. According to the record, more than 1.7 million cattle died of starvation or thirst, and there are at least 2.2 million acres of crops withered across at least five states. The government was forced to haul water to 1,500 villages and send food to farmers who lost all their crops. Cifuentes et al. (2005) Finally, climate change may lead to a 40 to 70 percent decline in Mexico’s current cropland in ten years which would lead to an 80 to 100 percent decline by the end of this century. Potentially, Mexico will lose over half its workable farms in less than 12 years, and all of them by 2100 (“Climate Change Threatens”, 2017).

Agriculture is highly sensitive to climate change and dependent on the weather conditions. Particularly, a warmer and drier environment could reduce agricultural production. Food supplying and climate regulation in many Mexican areas have been affected by issues such as water shortages, an unstable climate, proliferation of pests, infrequent but more intense rainfall, hail and human activities. Also, the water productivity is decreasing for crops of corn, beans, wheat, soybeans, sorghum and barley, which is telling that water requirements will increase in the medium term thus causing high yield loss for the seven crops.Godoy, E.(2017) Chiapas, for example, is the second-poorest state in the country with a sown area of 1.42 million hectares and 62 crops. The main products in the area are account for nearly 90 percent of the state’s total production. However, agricultural activities have released a huge amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Mexican agricultural activity released 80.17 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. By 2020, emissions of this potent greenhouse gas are expected to reach 111 million. In the southern state of Chiapas, farmers are already facing water shortages, sudden and heavy rains, floods, rising temperatures, and also problems of deforestation and bad agricultural practices. Godoy, E.(2017)

3)  The effect of climate change on children of Mexico

Furthermore, the main environmental hazards also affecting our children’s health, since children are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. And they would react much faster than adults to the

climate change. Climate change is increasing the global burden of disease and in the year 2000 was responsible for > 150,000 deaths worldwide. Of this disease burden, 88% fell upon children. Perry et.al (2011) Globally, Climate change is expected to become the top 5 causes of death in children under 5 years old. Such things like increased ozone levels are highly associated. Also, there are approximately 4000 malnutrition deaths in children less than 15 years old within 2030 and 2050, especially in the area that depend on agriculture. There are more of examples of how the climate change has impacted to our children. One of the reasons is that for the change in the temperature. The uncomfortable atmosphere temperature is becoming the main reasons of morbidity in Mexico children. The study illustrated in the Gulf of Mexico mentioned above estimated that acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) would diminish as temperatures increases. Also, according to the health issue, those children live in the poverty area would lack of

nutrition, the data shows there are approximately 25% (11.7 million) children live under this situation. There are around half of children under 5 years old are suffered with the malnutrition. Riojas-Rodríguez et al.(2018) For these children they are easily to get attacked by viral infection and also may infected by fungal. Dengue, a vector-borne disease, is the most related disease that associated with the climate change in Mexico. Its appearance increased from 5,220 cases in 2003 to 40, 559 in 2007, and there 20.3% of this case occurred in children from 5 to 14 years old. This is a quite supervising data since our children are get infected by these consequences by the tiny increase of temperature we might think of not a big problem. However, this is a serious problem, this climate change has also cause to disease such as Zika and Chikunguya. And they both could lead to similar consequences. In addition, Asthma is also affecting children’s health, for an around 1/3 of children population. So the UNICEF in Mexico has been taking actions for the past 70 years, they promote and protect the right of the children. Given the increase in frequency and magnitude of climate-related disasters and extreme events, they are putting more attention and actions into this area. Global action. (2015)


There is a climate science community which is made up of researchers from geology, astrophysics, oceanography, atmospheric physics, and some other aspects. Surveys show that 97% or more of these scientists agree that the planet is warming. This report discusses the effects of such climate changes on Mexico’s coastline and inland, water management, and people. To conclude, from our study of these impacts on Mexico by climate change also reflect how the current global environment is changing at the individual level. We should pay more attention, and it is essential for all of us to do something which could make our planet better.


1)     Turra, A., Cróquer, A., & Carranza, A. (2013). Global environmental changes: Setting priorities for Latin American coastal habitats. Global Change Biology,19(7), 1965-1969. Retrieved from https://doi-org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1111/gcb.12186.

2)     Score, A. (2010, July 1). Impacts of Climate Change on the Coastal Zone of Mexico: An Integrated Ecosystem Approach in the Gulf of Mexico to Support Coastal Zone Management Legislation. Retrieved from

https://www.cakex.org/case-studies/impacts-climate-change-coastal-zone-mexico-integra ted-ecosystem-approach-gulf-mexico-support-coastal-zone-management-legisl2ation

3)     Godoy, E. (17 jan 2019). Climate Change Threatens Mexico’s Atlantic Coast. doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e8661.


4)     Azuz-Adeath, I., & Yañez-Arancibia, A. (2019). Climate change: Ecological and socio economic dimensions in the coastal zone. Ecological Engineering, 130(Complete),


5)     Perry E. Sheffield, Philip J. Landrigan, Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Mar; 119(3): 291–298.

Published online 2010 Oct 14. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002233

6)     Riojas-Rodríguez, H., Quezada-Jiménez, M. L., Zúñiga-Bello, P., & Hurtado-Díaz, M. (2018). Climate Change and Potential Health Effects in Mexican Children. Annals of Global Health,84(2), 281-284. doi:10.29024/aogh.915

7)     Global action. (2015, February 10). Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/environment/index_60511.html

8)     Zambrano, L. Pacheco-Muñoz, R. and Fernández, T. (2017). A spatial model for evaluating the vulnerability of water management in Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires considering climate change. Anthropocene, 17, 1 – 12.

9)     Kimmelman, M. (2017, February 17). Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/17/world/americas/mexico-city-sinking.ht ml?_r=0

10) Godoy, E.(2017, December 14). Climate Change Threatens Mexican Agriculture – Mexico. Retrieved from


11) Shamah-Levy, T., Mundo-Rosas, V., and Morales-Ruan, C.(2017) Food insecurity and

maternal–child nutritional status in Mexico: cross-sectional analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2012. MJ Open 2017;7:e014371. Doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014371

12) Cifuentes, E., and Rodriguez, S. (2005). Urban Sprawl, Water Insecurity, and Enteric Diseases in Children from Mexico City. Ecohealth, 2(1), 70-75.

https://journals-scholarsportal-info.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/details/16129202/v02i00 01/70_uswiaedicfmc.xml

13) Godoy, E. (2019). Climate Change Also Affects Mental Health in Mexico. Retrieved from http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/03/climate-change-also-affects-mental-health-mexico/

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15) Van Den Hazel, P. (2017). Perspective on Children’s public mental health and climate change: Peter van den hazel. The European Journal of Public Health, 27(suppl_3), ckx187.397. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckx187.397


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