Severe Climate Change Impact in Africa Impacts Development Planning: State of the Climate in Africa Report

Urgent climate action is necessary in Africa and climate risks are becoming more severe. This is according to the State of the Climate in Africa 2019 report, a multi-agency publication coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

“Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest, and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on water resources. In recent months we have seen devastating floods, an invasion of desert locusts and now face the looming spectre of drought because of a La Niña event. The human and economic toll has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a press release.

Rising temperatures

According to the report, 2019 was one of the hottest years on record for the continent. In recent decades African temperatures have been warming somewhat faster than global mean surface temperature. Scientists predict that the five-year period from 2020 to 2024 will see a continued rise in temperatures and decreasing rainfall, particularly over North and Southern Africa. Rainfall is expected to increase the Sahel, the border region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Large swathes of the continent will exceed 2 °C of warming above pre-industrial levels by 2080. 

Rising sea levels 

The ocean level rise around the south-western Indian Ocean from Madagascar towards and past Mauritius is higher than the normal worldwide ocean level rise of 3–4 mm per year. In these areas, the rise has exceeded 5 mm per year.

Extreme weather events

Africa has had its fair share of droughts, flooding, and destructive cyclones, which hold dire implications for food security.

The report documents extreme weather events in 2019.  Tropical Cyclone Idai was a destructive tropical cyclone that led to many deaths displacements. Southern Africa had extensive droughts in 2019, but there was also flooding, landslides and heavy rainfall in the Greater Horn of Africa. Flooding also occurred in the Sahel area.

Agriculture under threat

‘’Agriculture is the backbone of Africa’s economy and accounts for the majority of livelihoods across the continent. Africa is therefore an exposure and vulnerability “hot spot” for climate variability and change impacts,’’ states the press release.

The agricultural sector is key to fighting climate change in Africa since the sector employs the majority of people, and uses vast water and energy resources.

Northern and southern Africa are getting drier and are under threat of desertification. Planting trees are recommended for these regions as it curbs water runoff and encourages other vegetation.

Infrastructure

The report writers note that Africa doesn’t have the infrastructure to withstand a category 5 cyclone like Cyclone Idai which hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in 2019.

“They need to have forward-looking analysis to anticipate the trends into the future and start designing infrastructure and other systems taking into account the changing nature of these tropical cyclones,” WMO’s Regional Strategic Office Director, Filipe Lucio, told a press conference.

The point of this report is to fill a gap in dependable and up-to-date climate data for Africa so Africa can be in a position to do climate-related development planning.

Share this article on your social networks
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Facebook Offers Cash For Help On Climate Misinformation

Facebook has decided to put money down on the misinformation front, virtually outsourcing the fix for climate misinformation on its apps.

Read More
Massive swing in media reporting of climate science: New study

A new study of thousands of articles just discovered that 90% of media coverage represented the scientific consensus stating that human activity is responsible for global warming. This represents an increase from 50% 16 years ago.

Read More
United Nations Welcomes Paying.Green® as Participant Member in UN Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact, New York, has announced today that Paying.Green® has joined as a Participant.

Read More
Australia Ranks Dead Last in World For Climate Action, According to Recent UN Report

Australia has come in last place for climate action according to the United Nations latest Sustainable Development Report. The report …

Read More
Corporate Accountability for Climate Impact: New Legal Norm

Experts state that scientific advances are bound to make it easier to attribute climate breakdown associated damages to the activities …

Read More
NATO Turns To Face Climate Threat

Leaders of the Western military alliance have agreed to a climate action plan that makes their armed forces carbon-neutral by 2050

Read More
The most important scientific discovery of our time: NetFlix

Netflix states that the film, just released, centres around David Attenborough and Swedish Professor Johan Rockström’s research and records “the most important scientific discovery of our time.

Read More
4 Massive Climate Rulings Prove that Big Oil, Gas & Coal Are Running Out Of Hiding Places

3 global fossil fuel giants have been on the end of embarrassing rebukes over their inaction or inadequate action on …

Read More
New IEA report gives meaning to Net Zero – five key insights

The IEA has released its long-awaited roadmap highlighting how the globe’s energy sector could slash its planet-heating emissions to net zero in 30 years

Read More