Rate Of Warming In Africa Above Global Average – WMO2 min read
The State of the Climate in Africa 2022 report, produced by the World Metrological Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and Africa Climate Policy Centre of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), has raised an alarm that the rate of warming on the African continent has surpassed the world’s global average.
The report, which was released during the Africa Climate Summit (ACS), revealed that the continent experienced an increase of +0.3 degrees Celsius in temperature during the 1991 to 2022 period which is a significant rise as compared to the +0.2 degrees Celsius recorded between the years 1961 to 1990. This means that the continent’s temperature is rising by 0.3 degrees Celsius each decade.
The report showed than more than 110 million people on the continent were directly affected by weather, climate and water-related hazards in 2022, causing more than $ 8.5 billion in economic damages.
It also highlighted that there were reported 5,000 fatalities due to climate change of which 48 per cent were associated with drought and 43 per cent were associated with flooding, according to the Emergency Event Database.
At the ACS event, Secretary-General of WMO, Prof. Petteri Taalas, stated that the continent is suffering disproportionately from climate change.
“Africa is responsible for less than 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But it is the continent which is the least able to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. Heat waves, heavy rains, floods, tropical cyclones, and prolonged droughts are having devastating impacts on communities and economies, with increasing numbers of people at risk,” he said.
The report also stated that agricultural productivity, which supports more than 55 per cent of the labor force on the continent, has declined by 34 per cent since 1961 due to climate change which is the highest agricultural productivity decline worldwide.
It added that projected annual food imports by African countries are expected to increase by about a factor of three, from US$ 35 billion to US$ 110 billion by 2025.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment at AUC, Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, in the report, cautioned African leaders to address climate issues before situation becomes dire on the continent.
“Given Africa’s high exposure, fragility, and low adaptive capacity, the effects of climate change are expected to be felt more severely. People’s health, peace, prosperity, infrastructure, and other economic activities across many sectors in Africa are exposed to significant risks associated with climate change,” she wrote in the report.
UNECA’s African Climate Policy Centre also warned that the loss and damage costs in Africa due to climate change are projected to range between US$ 290 billion and US$ 440 billion, depending on the degree of warming.