Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ghanaians warned of extreme weather conditions

Myjoyonline, via the Daily Graphic (Ghana): Ghanaian scientist Dr Emmanuel Amamoo-Otchere, has predicted extreme weather conditions in the country this year as a result of global climatic changes. An expert in Geographic Information Systems, Dr Amamoo-Otchere said in all the climatic conditions, Ghanaians must prepare for the worst scenario, such as torrential rains, excessive heat, as well as severe dry winds, so they could adapt to them when they came.

In an answer to a question as to why the weather had suddenly become so warm after a brief period of coldness, he said the condition was not peculiar to Ghana but that it was a global phenomenon caused by changes in the climate. "When the weather becomes hot, it could be too hot, and when it is cold, it could be too cold. When it has to rain, it will rain torrentially, and when the weather is dry, it will be extremely dry," he pointed out. He warned of more disasters, such as floods and drought, which he said no one could prevent, adding, however, that they could be managed.

Dr Amamoo-Otchere, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Development Geo-Information Services (DeGeoServ), prescribed interventions such as re-aforestation and a drastic reduction in carbon emission into the environment to reduce what he 'termed "the triggers of the change". He lamented, however, that in the short term, "nobody can do anything about the situation, except to adapt for his or her own good".

He explained that the earth's climate was dynamic and always changing through a natural cycle, noting that what the world was currently worried about was the fact that the changes occurring today had been fast¬ tracked because of man's activities.

….The renowned scientist observed that the climate had not been so harsh years ago, adding that now that mankind had found itself in such a serious situation, "we have to adapt". He explained that institutions and groups all over the world were trying hard to adopt coping mechanisms with programmes under "Climate Change and Adaptation", adding that the World Bank was also working out a Climate Change Risk Management Programme and advising nations to employ it.

Dr Amamoo-Otchere said as a Ghanaian in that field, he had been invited to a workshop in Tanzania in March to deliberate on climate change and vulnerability, saying that "when the climate changes for the worst, it is always the vulnerable, such as women and children, who suffer"…

Ghana's coat of arms from Vector Images, via Wikimedia Commons

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