12.1 Evidence of Climate Change in Nigeria: An Assessment of Recent Extreme Events

Thursday, 10 January 2019: 1:30 PM
North 129A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Eric Ugochukwu Olewuike, National Root Crops Research Institute, Umuahia, Nigeria

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that there is “high likelihood of warming” ranging from 3-4ocover West Africa. IPCC also projected that it is “likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation will increase in the 21st century over many areas of the tropical regions”. There has been both observed and documented change in the climate system of Nigeria over time and the world at large. Global mean temperature for the period January to September 2017 was 0.47°±0.08°c warmer than the 1981-2010 average (estimated at 14.31°c) this represents an approximately 1.1°c increase in temperature since the pre-industrial period (WMO 2017). This change has been occasioned by extreme weather events; for instance, 2017 was declared by the World Meteorological Organization (W.M.O.) as the hottest Non-El-Nino year in global history. According to the world’s highest Meteorological body report, 2017 was characterized by severe weather extremes such as floods, hurricane and heat waves. Literatures have buttressed the perceived recent changes and variabilities of climate. These backdrops have necessitated salient questions on the evidences and extent of these changes in Nigeria. Also, is a question of the impacts of these changes in Nigeria especially the extreme events. This study thus examines the evidences and assesses the recent rising extreme weather events and their impacts in Nigeria. It assessed the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) Review on the Climate of Nigeria 2014-2018, the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) publications of NIMET for the years 2014-2018, and meteorological database of NIMET which was analyzed by simple statistical analyses. The outputs were also exported for further analysis in the ArcMap Geographic Information Systems software platform where temperature and rainfall data were interpolated. The result from this assessment shows that rising high temperatures that are above 40oc were observed in some central and northern parts of country within this period with Maiduguri and Nguru recording 44.5oc and 44.4oc with the highest number of days with day time temperature of above 40oc (>70 days). On rainfall within this period, a cumulative annual rainfall of less than 4000mm was recorded in the extreme northern states, central states had between 4000mm to7000mm with the southern coastal states recording the highest cumulative rainfall of 19,604mm while the lowest cumulative rainfall of 1901.2mm was recorded in Kastina. Highest one–day rainfall value was recorded in Abakiliki in the southeast which had 223.5mm causing flooding that evacuated 5,000 residents. It was also recorded that flood and windstorm displaced no fewer than 7,290 people, killed 67 persons, destroyed above 3,900 homes and many farms in five northern states (Sokoto, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi and Zamfara) including properties worth over 700million Naira. Additionally, the Federal Government has disbursed 3 billion Naira from the Ecological fund within this period. The fund was established to ensure adequate provision of pools of funds to address ecological problems such as flood, soil erosion, desertification and general environmental hazards. Impact of heat waves destroyed tomato farms in the northern parts of the country. Strangely, western state of Lagos was hit by one of the most severe heat-waves in 2016. On the extreme low temperatures, fewer cities recorded night time temperatures that were equal or less than 10oc. Lowest (night time) temperatures of 6.9oc, 7.8oc and 8.3oc were recorded in the northern states of Bauchi, Kano and Jos respectively. Usi-Ekiti in the West and Jos recorded highest number of days with prolonged low night time temperatures.The findings from this study has great potentials to provide the necessary guidance for policy makers and stakeholders which will assists in ensuring sustainable socio- economic development.


Climate change, climate change impacts, extreme weather events, temperature, rainfall.

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