The Impact of Climate Change in Nigeria.

Yusuf Abdulhamid


It is often argued that Africa need not care about climate change because in global dimensions Africa produces negligible greenhouse gases. Climate change is primarily caused by the developed countries, so they should be the ones dealing with it. However, it is the bitter irony of destiny that Africa contributes least of all the continents to the climate change, but will probably suffer most from its consequences. Third World countries, particularly Africa are threatened by the predicted change in climate because of their economic dependence on agriculture for survival. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change   (IPCC) describe Africa as one of the most vulnerable continents to climate change and climate variability and within Africa, Nigeria is one of the countries expected to be worst affected.

The present study evaluates Nigeria as likely to be one of the most negatively impacted countries in the world as a result of climate change. Nigeria has a tropical climate with variable rainy and dry seasons, depending on the location. In the southeast part of the country it is hot and wet most of the year, but it is dry in the southwest and farther inland. In the north and west, a savannah climate with marked wet and dry seasons prevails, while a stepped climate with little precipitation is found in the far north. Its risks are particularly high due to its low lying coastline that is highly populated with a heavy concentration of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) generating industry and infrastructure. In addition, the north of the country forms part of the Sahel which is at risk of further desertification and droughts. Flooding, water shortages, increased diseases and associated social disruption could well give rise to a vicious cycle of economic degradation and social conflict.

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