Bermuda Climate Change Report Part I

On July 15, 2022, BIOS released a report titled Climate Change and Bermuda – Part I: Science and Physical Hazards. This report synthesizes the current understanding about the state of Bermuda’s climate, including historical trends and variations over the last several decades that are likely to have an impact on Bermuda’s society. The report also examines projections of future climate scenarios, including a review of uncertainties. Chapters include reviews of recent and future changes in temperature, rainfall and sea level rise. Changes in local natural hazards such as hurricanes and winter gales are also explored to develop a longer-term view of what the near future looks like for the island’s disaster risk.

The report leverages the last 10 to 15 years of scientific work published in academic literature and technical reports, as well as advancements in climate data reporting. Key findings of the report highlight that the upper ocean and surface air temperatures locally have been warming, and they are predicted to continue increasing. Sea level rise will continue to accelerate according to scientific analyses and projections. These climate effects support growing hurricane risk in Bermuda, which has been noted to be increasing in recent decades.

While this first document outlines the state of the climate itself, Part II of this report, due later this year, will explore the societal impacts of climate change. The Principal Investigator on the project is Dr. Mark Guishard, Adjunct Scientist and Director of the Bermuda Weather Service, a section of the Bermuda Airport Authority. He is working with two Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) interns this summer: Bermuda Program Intern Caroline Alexander, and Research Intern Kendall O’Farrell. Caroline is a Bermudian currently studying for an MSc in climate change at University College London. Her research focuses on the impact of climate change on Bermuda’s water supply. Kendall is a recent graduate of Lehigh University (U.S.) with a BA in earth and environmental science and environmental studies. She will be studying the community-level impacts of climate change, including implications of inequality and justice. The work of these interns, and previous BIOS interns, will be incorporated into the body of the report, in addition to BIOS-led peer-reviewed studies.

These reports are supported by an exclusive lead sponsor, HSBC Bermuda, whose grant we gratefully acknowledge.