Climate Change Processes and Impacts

Opere A, Olago D, Chidumayo E, Osman-Elasha B. "Climate Change Processes and Impacts." Climate Change and African Forest and Wildlife Resources. 2011:18-33.


Climate change is expressed as deviations from a regional climatology determined by analysis of long-term measurements, usually over a period of at least 30 years, or the normally experienced climate conditions and a different, but recurrent, set of climate conditions over a given region of the world (IPCC, 1998). Climate change may also refer to a shift in climate, occurring as a result of human activities (Wigley, 1999). Changing climate is expected to continue in the 21st century in response to the continued increasing trend in global green house gas (GHG) emissions (IPCC, 2007a), stimulating three main responses: technical and livelihood adaptations by affected communities, mitigation actions that sequester GHGs or reduce fossil fuels dependence, and formal international dialogue on the scope and correction of this now rapidly emerging threat to human existence.

Climate change scenarios for Africa include higher temperatures across the continent estimated to be increasing by 0.2°C per decade (Elagiband Mansell, 2000) and more erratic precipitation with slight increase in ecozones of eastern Africa and moist forest ecozones of West Africa and sustainable declines in the productivity in the Sahel and the ecozones of southern, Central and North Africa (Stige et al., 2006). This projection is in part reinforced by changes in rainfall over the last 60 years that has declined by up to 30% (Sivakumar et al ., 2 0 05 ), with the greatest negative impacts felt in Alfred Opere, Daniel Olago, Emmanuel Chidumayo and Balgis Osman-Elasha the Sahel of West Africa (Nicholson et al., 2000; Hulme et al., 2001).

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