If Costa Rica is going to be carbon neutral, rural areas such as Monteverde need to capture much more carbon from the atmosphere than we emit. To be resilient to climate change, we must understand how the climate is changing in Monteverde and our vulnerabilities.
We gathered data on 2016 emissions from businesses, farms, and homes in the Monteverde district. Our top three sources of emissions are ground transportation, livestock, and cooking gas (LPG). This information helps us set priorities for our action plan.
Carbon Sequestration Inventory
To determine how much carbon is being captured by Monteverde's forests, we are measuring tree growth on 24 randomly selected farms. In 20 x 20 meter plots, we are recording the diameter at breast height of trees once a year for 5 years. Using this data with aerial photographs and land use maps, we will calculate the quantity of carbon being captured.
How the climate is changing in Monteverde
Monteverde is becoming warmer, wetter and dryer, according to scientist Alan Pounds. Warmer air holds more water and forms clouds higher up. Clouds move above the Tilarán mountain range and less mist and fog pass through the forest. In turn, we have fewer rainbows.
Since the early 1970's the average number of dry days has increased from about 25 to more than 110 per year. At the same time, the average annual rainfall has increased from about two and a half meters to more than three meters. Dry periods are longer and when it does rain it tends to rain in more intense downpours causing more erosion and landslides.