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Analysis of Precipitation and Temperature Variability over Central Africa (1901-2015)

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: Africa is already experiencing the impact of climate change. Some of the manifestations of climate change in Africa are, changing weather patterns resulting in, flooding and drought. Temperature change has impacted health, livelihoods, productivity of food, availability of water, and state of security. This study examines the long-term climate variations in Central African Countries (Gabon, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Central Africa Republic, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo) for the period 1901 to 2015, and then investigates the possible influence of increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. To investigate climate patterns and trends in the Central African Countries, precipitation and temperature were analyzed on annual time scales using data collected from the World Bank Group Climate Change Knowledge Portal. Data was further aggregated using annual average blocks of 10 years. Linear and polynomial regression was performed. Also, linear time series slopes were analyzed to investigate the spatial and temporal trends of climate variability in Central African countries. Results of the analyses indicated that the mean annual temperature and precipitation records in some of the Central African Countries had both warming and cooling trends over the study period from 1901 to 2015. For example, differences between the maximum and the minimum rainfall data for Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Gabon were 13 mm, 13 mm and 11.1 mm, which corresponded to 11.04 , 10.03 and 10.44 respectively. The study also found the temperature of Chad to have significantly risen from 1901 to 2015 by almost 20 , while its rainfall’s variation was limited. Although the variation in rainfall in Chad was not dramatic, the temperature per 10 year rose by almost 20 . Chad’s temperature rose according to a cubic model from about 24.5°C to just below 27°C during the period 1901-1940. This was followed by a brief drop between 1940 and 1960. From 1960 to 2015 it rose according to the model to almost 28°C. By 2040 the temperature is expected to reach about 29.5°C if this trend continues. Gabon was found to be the wettest country in Central Africa. Between 1901 and 1960, its average rainfall rose from about 144 mm to a maximum of approximately 160 mm. It had a general average rainfall 10 year’s increase from 1901 to 2015. The paper concludes by outlining policy recommendations in the form of improving national and regional environmental policies and regulations in the region, community involvement in decision making processes both at local and the national levels so as to contribute their input in the daily management of the forest resources, poverty alleviation in the region as well as building regional information system (RIS) incorporating Geographic Information System (GIS), remote sensing and other environmental and socio-economic data to help reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.

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