Publication Date January 22, 2020

Colombian farmers under pressure from frosts linked to climate change

climate change drought

Signals Summary: Climate change is increasing drought risk in certain regions by increasing temperatures and lessening precipitation. 

Article Excerpt: Potato farmer Pedro Gomez stared out across rows and rows of ruined potato plants, the usually green foliage brown and withered by heavy frost.

“They are very significant losses for the farmers who benefit from these crops, which is the only thing they can grow here,” he said.


While dry weather stokes fire fears in Colombia’s coastal regions, early morning frosts in the Andean country’s high altitude areas are laying waste to farm pastures and crops.

The frosts are caused by thermal inversions, including rapid cooling of the ground on clear nights, said Yolanda Gonzalez, the director general of the Colombian Institute of Meteorology (IDEAM).

“Just in this month we have had a lot of days with little cloud cover, high temperatures and scarce rainfall, which favors continued low temperatures,” Gonzalez said.


Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano told Reuters this week that extended dry periods were connected to climate change.

“In the tropics a big consequence of global warming is increasing intensity (of extreme events) and longer dry or rainy periods,” he said.