Possible climate change/variability and human impacts, vulnerability of drought-prone regions, water resources and capacity building for Africa

T. Y. Gan*, Mari Ito, S. Hülsmann, X. Qin, X.X. Lu, S. Y. Liong, P. Rutschman, M. Disse, H. Koivusalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This review article discusses the climate, water resources and historical droughts of Africa, drought indices, vulnerability, impact of global warming and land use for drought-prone regions in West, southern and the Greater Horn of Africa, which have suffered recurrent severe droughts in the past. Recent studies detected warming and drying trends in Africa since the mid 20th century. Based on the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), both northern and southern Africa are projected to experience drying, such as decreasing precipitation, runoff and soil moisture in the 21st century and could become more vulnerable to the impact of droughts. The daily maximum temperature is projected to increase by up to 8°C (RCP8.5 of CMIP5), precipitation indices such as total wet day precipitation (PRCPTOT) and heavy precipitation days (R10 mm) could decrease, while warm spell duration (WSDI) and consecutive dry days (CDD) could increase. Uncertainties of the above long-term projections, teleconnections to climate anomalies such as ENSO and the Madden-Julian Oscillation, which could also affect the water resources of Africa, and capacity building in terms of physical infrastructure and non-structural solutions are also discussed. Given that traditional climate and hydrological data observed in Africa are generally limited, satellite data should also be exploited to fill the data gap for Africa in the future. EDITOR D. Koutsoyiannis ASSOCIATE EDITOR N. Ilich

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1226
Number of pages18
JournalHYDROLOGICAL SCIENCES JOURNAL-JOURNAL DES SCIENCES HYDROLOGIQUES
Volume61
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • capacity building
  • climate anomalies
  • droughts
  • impact of climate change
  • land-use changes
  • uncertainties
  • vulnerability
  • water resources of Africa

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