Friday, 12 August, 2022

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WMO expresses worry over Africa’s climate scenario

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has expressed worries over the emerging climate scenario in Africa.

It says temperatures and sea levels, changing precipitation patterns and more extreme weather are threatening human health and safety, food and water security are environmental threats to Africa’s survival.

This was revealed in its report titled: State of the Climate in Africa 2019 report released on Monday.

It highlighted lessons for climate action in Africa and identified pathways for addressing critical gaps and challenges.

“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.”

Petteri Taalas, WMO Secretary-General

Key findings

According to the report, 2019 was among the three warmest years on record for the continent.

In fact, African temperatures in recent decades have been warming at a rate comparable to that of most other continents, and thus somewhat faster than global mean surface temperature.

Coastal degradation and erosion is also a major challenge, especially in West Africa.

About 56% of the coastlines in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo are eroding and this is expected to worsen in the future.

The continent’s agricultural sector has been impacted with reduced crop productivity associated with heat and drought stress and increased pest damage, disease damage and flood impacts on food system infrastructure, resulting in serious adverse effects on food security and on livelihoods at the regional, national and individual household levels.

Continental efforts

WMO however praised Africa for enacting solid climate resilience policies such as reducing poverty by promoting socioeconomic growth in agriculture (the largest employer of labour ), deployment of new technologies (such as solar, wind, drone, blockchain), reducing water usage by up to 90% while at the same time offsetting carbon emissions by generating up to 250 kW of clean energy.

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[…] This report coincides with worries expressed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) about the current climate trends in Africa. […]

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