By Umar Danbaba Josiah

Climate change refers to the deviation from the normal climate patterns of a place, such as temperature rise, erratic rainfall, sand storms, desertification, low agricultural yield; drying up of water bodies and flooding. Natural events and human activities are believed to be contributing to an increase in average global temperatures, this is caused primarily by increase in greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2), methane, chlorofluorohydrocarbon, nitrous oxide and water vapor.
Nigeria is already experiencing adverse climate conditions such as persistent droughts and flooding, off season rains and dry spells have disrupted growing seasons. Alarm bells are ringing with lakes drying up and a reduction in river flow in the arid and semi-arid region resulting in fewer water supplies for use in agriculture, hydro power generation and other uses.

Most regions in northern Nigeria such as Katsina and Sokoto are becoming drier, while the southern part of the country is getting moister. Global Warming means that these dry areas are going to get drier and wet areas are going to get wetter.
Climate Change often appears very esoteric but in Nigeria, it’s real, the agricultural sector contributes some percentage of the Nigerian Gross National Product and majority of the rural populace are employed in this sector. The dominant role of agriculture makes it obvious that even minor climate deteriorations can cause devastating socioeconomic consequences. Environmental degradation is major threats to the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the frontline states of Nigeria. This has led to increasing population pressure, intensive agricultural land use, overgrazing, bush burning, extraction of fuel wood and other biotic resources.

The speed of the current climate change is faster than most of the past events as a result of developments thus making it more difficult for human societies and the natural world to adapt. We might not be able to correct the climate condition but we can prevent it from getting worse. The European Geosciences Union published a study in April 2016, that examined the impact of a 1.5 degree Celsius vs. a 2.0 C temperature increase by the end of the century. It found that the jump from 1.5 to 2 degrees raises the impact by about one third of the phenomena studied. Heat waves would last around a third longer or rain storms would be about a third more intense. Also, the increase in sea level would be approximately a third higher and so staying below 1.5 degrees also limits risks of reductions of yields in crops such as wheat, cocoa and potatoes in key developing regions by 10-15%.

The writer, Umar Danbaba Josiah, is a Climate Change Enthusiast and PACC Policy Research Fellow- Nigeria.

– Edited By Emmanuel Ayamga
PACC Policy
News Editor