Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Climate Change and Africa - new report outlines continent's hotspots

Peter Kahare in via African Arguments: Climatic conditions in Kenya have seen radical shifts over the last few years. 'Normal' seasons have been characterised by harsh, erratic and extreme events. Dry seasons have become longer; temperatures have risen, while rains have fallen with abnormally high intensity - leaving a trail of destruction ranging from deaths to displacement.

The changing weather patterns have bewildered many analysts in Kenya, who now say that the increasingly unpredictable weather patterns are likely to be a result of the climate change. Weather experts in Kenya are generally in agreement with researchers elsewhere who say that although the effects of climate change are going to impact most parts of the African continent, some regions will be hit much harder than others.

A group of scientists in Germany now say that, for the first time, they have identified the "hotspots of climate change in Africa," which cover three regions where people should prepare for multiple climatic problems over the next 20 years.

According to scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the three regions most at risk are parts of Sudan and Ethiopia, the countries around Lake Victoria, and the continent's south-eastern corner (especially parts of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe).

"These regions are expected to see more severe dry seasons and reduced plant growth, with flooding in countries around Lake Victoria."

The researchers say that globally Africa has already experience above average affects from the changing global climate - the continent's above average share of poor and undernourished people also increases the potential human impact of this situation....

An aerial view of Merowe Dam in Sudan, shot by Lubumbashi, public domain 

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