Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a small country in Central America of about 4.5.million people. It is located in the tropical area and has a hot climate, but cooler along the coasts and in the mountains up to 2000m altitude. Or (up to 2000m high)?

Climate change will bring more hot days, changing rain patterns and possibly more violent weather events. The specific projections for this country are shown here. Costa Rica is part of V20, the Climate Vulnerable Forum.

Current and future heat in the hottest month is shown in the maps to the left. A grid cell pattern shows the average afternoon temperatures (Tmax) during the hottest month, in the periods 1980-2009 and 2070-2099.

The local population is adapted to the hot periods, but Heat stress in the occurs in jobs that require heavy labour such as sugar harvesting ...… other examples .... when and where…Under a high emission scenario (RCP8.5), the multimodel mean annual temperature is projected to increase by about 5°C from 1990 to 2100. This is accompanied by a dramatic increase in the length of the longest heat wave spells from around 50 days in 1990 to about 280 days by the end of the century for the multi-model mean under RCP8.5.


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The average length of the longest dry spell, about 100 days, is not indicated to change much suggesting persistence of drought spells but with large year-toyear variability. At the same time, there is an indication that the number of days with very heavy precipitation may increase by around 5 days from 1990 to 2100 on average for RCP8.5. Some of the models indicate substantially larger increases - outside the range of observed variability, which implies an increase in fluvial flood risk.


Technical Explanation The time series plots for climate indices are produced by first interpolating all observed and simulated data to a half degree grid and then aggregating from this to individual countries. The model projections are based on CMIP5 runs with multiple global climate models for RCP2.6 (green) and RCP8.5 (orange ). As well as showing the multi-model (ensemble) mean (based on about 20 different models), the 5% and 95% ranges are shown to indicate the range of uncertainty across the ensemble. For more information on RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 climate scenarios please see the methods page. For the indices of extremes, observations are taken from the HadEX2 dataset (, whilst observed mean temperature (Tmean) is based on CRU TS (