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The Impact of Climate Change on Sub-Sahara Africa

Case Studies in Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda

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Edited By Chukwuemeka Christopher Opara and Bernard Palmer Kfuban Yerima

While global warming and its consequences on humanity are being fiercely debated at the global scale, deliberate and pragmatic reflections on the subject in Sub-Sahara Africa remain muted, though this phenomenon is negatively impacting the livelihoods of her people. The unprecedented degradation of her natural resources, i.e., water, biodiversity, and soils are seen to be intricately linked to her increasing inability to meet the basic needs of her people. This book examines how global climate change impacts on Sub-Sahara Africa, the measures and strategies that would be used in facing it and actions presently implemented in combating it. A pragmatic community/state engagement synergy on climate change mitigation initiatives that rewards best practices is critical to its success. Though investments in research, technical know-how, dedicated commitment and dissemination mechanisms would be inevitable to draw the continent from the precipice, the role of regulatory enforcement mechanisms and a legal framework addressing land use rights permissible within given landscapes is seen to be central to the success of this endeavor.
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Global climate change impacts on Sub-Sahara Africa: The case of Nigeria’s shorelines

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Introduction

Climate refers to the average weather condition and its variability over time and space. Climate varies from place to place depending on latitude, distance from the sea, vegetation and terrain characteristics. Climate also varies in time from season to season, year to year, decade to decade and on longer time scales which extend to millions of years. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 1996) defined climate change as statistically significant variation in the mean state of the climate or of its variability which typically persists for decades or longer periods of time. Climate is predictable and fairly stable over large continental and global scales even though extreme atmospheric conditions also influence the weather of a place. The elements of weather and climate which influence our everyday life include average temperature, minimum and maximum temperature, wind near the earth’s surface, various types of precipitation, humidity, cloud cover and solar radiation. Others include the vertical structure of the atmosphere, the influence of the underlying land and sea, atmospheric circulation and its interaction with ocean currents, the albedo of the earth’s surface, vegetation and soil moisture. In addition to these, the climate of the world is influenced by other factors that control the radiative balance, like atmospheric composition, solar radiation and volcanic eruptions. There is the need now more than ever before to understand the climate system which includes the dynamics and composition of the atmosphere, the oceans, the ice and snow cover, the land surface and...

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