Braun J.J, Mattioli G.S., Calais E. Focused Study of Interweaving Hazards Across the Caribbean. EOS Vol. 93, No 9, 28 Feb 2012.
The Caribbean is a region of lush vegetation,
beaches, active volcanoes, and significant
mountain ranges, all of which create
a natural aesthetic that is recognized globally.
Yet these very same features, molded
through geological, oceanic, and atmospheric
processes, also pose natural hazards
for the developing countries in the Caribbean.
The rise in population density, migration
to coastal areas, and substandard building
practices, combined with the threat of
natural hazards, put the region’s human
population at risk for particularly devastating
disasters. These demographic and social
characteristics exist against a backdrop of
the threat of an evolving climate, which produces
a more vigorous hurricane environment
and a rising average sea level.
The 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti
and Hurricane Ike (2008) both caused widespread
destruction and loss of life, illustrating
the need for a scientific focus on the
underlying natural hazards of the Caribbean.
Prompted by these and other events,
a new National Science Foundation (NSF)–
funded initiative known as the Continuously
Operating Caribbean Observation Network
(COCONet), which commits roughly $7 million
over 5 years to a collaborative natural
hazard research team, was formed in
2010. This team includes researchers from
UNAVCO, Purdue University, University of
Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, and the University
Corporation for Atmospheric Research