Case Studies in Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda
Edited By Chukwuemeka Christopher Opara and Bernard Palmer Kfuban Yerima
Global climate change impacts on Sub-Sahara Africa: The case of Nigeria’s shorelines
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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