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IPCC WGII Third Assessment Report – Regional Issues with Emphasis on Developing Countries of Africa: 

IPCC WGII Third Assessment Report – Regional Issues with Emphasis on Developing Countries of Africa Paul V. Desanker (Malawi) Coordinating Lead Author Chapter 10 (Africa)


Outline Summary of Key Impacts Over Africa Some thoughts on Adaptation Some suggestions for emphasis

Overall Science Basis: 

Overall Science Basis Much improved science understanding of the issues of climate change for Africa Climate system: nature of variability at sub-regional level (Southern Africa, Sahel, etc), ENSO, climate variability Improved data on impacts of Extreme events (floods, droughts, major storm, disease epidemics) Seasonal forecasts used operationally

African Climate: 

African Climate Projected Climate: Trends, Extremes Persistent droughts – feedbacks between climate and land surface condition Extremes projected to get worse Recent incidences of extremes example of vulnerabilities and very low adaptive capacity


Cairo: Megacity, vulnerable to sea-level rise The Nile: vulnerable to climate variability and human pressures, transboundary issue


Morocco: North Atlantic Oscillation – climate variability and major impacts on fisheries


The Sahel: Rainfall Variability modulated by vegetation dynamics Species loss Major impacts on livelihoods


Gulf of Guinea: Very large coastal cities vulnerable to sea level rise


Central Africa: Land cover change interlinked with regional climate, impacta areas away from immediate deforested area.


South-West Africa Coastal marine fisheries adversely affected by changes in Banguela current


Southern Africa Droughts Impacts on economy shown


Cape Flora Loss or displacement of species in biodiversity-risk Cape and Karoo areas


Floods Populous coastal areas highly exposed to floods, also key infrastructure


East African Great Lakes Lake levels very sensitive to climate variability


East African Agriculture Growing season shifts have serious impacts on crops


Droughts in Horn of Africa Recurrent droughts


Grain yields are projected to decrease for many scenarios, diminishing food security, particularly in small food-importing countries (medium to high confidence). Sectoral Issues: Food


Major rivers of Africa are highly sensitive to climate variation; average runoff and water availability would decrease in Mediterranean and southern countries of Africa (medium confidence). Water


Extension of ranges of infectious disease vectors would adversely affect human health in Africa (medium confidence). - MORE MALARIA! Vector Diseases


Desertification would be exacerbated by reductions in average annual rainfall, runoff, and soil moisture, especially in southern, North, and West Africa (medium confidence). Vector Diseases


Coastal settlements in, for example, the Gulf of Guinea, Senegal, Gambia, Egypt, and along the East–Southern African coast would be adversely impacted by sea-level rise through inundation and coastal erosion (high confidence). Settlements




Overall Adaptive Capacity Adaptive capacity of human systems in Africa is very low due to lack of economic resources and technology.

Adaptation Constraints: 

Adaptation Constraints Region very diverse: while common problems, LDCs have differentiated needs given their very low economic ability

Adaptation Constraints: 

Adaptation Constraints Multiple stresses: health, land use, climate, economics etc interlinked in affecting livelihoods. Complicates assessment of impacts, but requires that climate change be considered in context of sustainable development.

Adaptation Constraints: 

Adaptation Constraints Adaptation to adverse impacts is local: need to understand local climate change related hazards and develop programs to minimize risks at the local and regional level. Each sector and region has critical needs, especially in LDCs where delayed action would make future actions more costly and lead to more damage


Overall Vulnerability High Vulnerability of human systems high as a result of heavy reliance on rain-fed agriculture; frequent droughts and floods; and poverty.

Some Gaps – Opportunities for Progress: 

Some Gaps – Opportunities for Progress Lots of progress in observation of climate: need continued efforts Remote sensing systems offer regional monitoring capability that cannot be matched by ground systems Need more regional and national integrated assessment of impacts linked with development plans

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