Conclusion

The decision support system of the Puerto Rico Climate Change Council is working to protect the social, economic, and ecological fabric of life in Puerto Rico from changes in increasing temperatures and sea levels, changes in precipitation and extreme events. The vulnerability of key sectors is being assessed such as economic development, tourism, services, natural resources and biodiversity, cultural and historic resources, security, and critical infrastructure. As Puerto Rico begins to adapt to climate change with the help of this decision support system certain challenges will present itself. One major challenge will be the desire for perfect information. More and more cities, states, and countries are relying on climate modelers to provide possible future climate scenarios to be used for decision making, both more climate adaptation as well as climate mitigation (the reduction of greenhouse emissions). In fact, Puerto Rico will within the next year or two have access to such climate projections (Hayhoe, K. 2011, pers. comm., 15 Nov). However, decision-makers or users of this information should not expect climate scientists to solve this problem by providing certain and accurate climate forecasts. Therefore, public entities and private developers, have to change the way they make decisions, to introduce climate uncertainty caused by anthropogenic climate change in their everyday operations. If climate change is taken into account in all long-term decisions, many public and private projects will be better adapted for the future, and both taxpayer and private investments will be better protected.