Costa Rica

Climate risk country profile: Costa Rica

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This paper assesses a climate risk country profile for Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s climate is characterized by well-defined annual patterns. However, these are periodically affected by fluctuations in the temperature of the surrounding oceans, interaction of the atmospheric circulation with the volcanic mountain range that runs northeast to southeast, and El Niño/La Niña cycles as well as Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Regional long-term variabilities are also influenced by annual north-south displacement of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the intensity of the subtropical high-pressure system over the Caribbean Sea, the strength of the trade winds and of the Caribbean Low-Level Jet (CLLJ).

The recommendations the paper concludes with include:

  • Research gaps: Overall planning and research needs at the federal level should be assessed in collaboration with the private sector, local communities and the scientific community to ensure effective climate change responses meet projected risks and need
  • Data and information gaps: A critical axis of action in the National Adaptation Policy (2018) is to generate robust information to regarding climatic and hydrological factors as well as their impacts, in addition to enhancing the capacities of institutions and actors to interpret and apply that knowledge in the national and local context. With regards to data and information, this includes the establishment of a national system to monitor climate change (Sistema Nacional de Métrica en Cambio Climático del MINAE/INEC (SINAMECC) that will collect, generate and disseminate climate scenarios to facilitate decision making and guide systems-based adaptation actions
  • Institutional gaps: Improve institutional transparency with regards to information and knowledge by creating scientific advisory forums to help guide climate-related research