By Damba Rogers
Prof Shem Wandiga, a former Acting Director Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA) has expressed concern over the continuous rising of atmospheric temperature globally.
Prof Wandiga cautioned that if the rising temperature is not taken care of, there is going to be more devastating impacts to the environment. He claimed the increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is attributed to human activities.
Prof Wandiga pointed out industrialization activities as one of the GHGs contributors making the atmosphere warmer by at least than one degree.
“With temperature in the last decade rising by more than one degree and resulting to warmer climate, the new decade, heat levels will remain the same or even hotter in some places,” Prof Wandiga cautioned.
The Expert said Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report 2014, indicates that Carbon Dioxide is the largest occupant of the atmosphere at 65%, Methane gas 16%, Nitrous Oxide 6% and Fluorinated gases such as Neon at 2%.
“A record of hot weather occurs almost yearly for the last one decade. This hot weather will persist unless the build-up of GHGs in the atmosphere is stopped,” Prof Wandiga said.
Prof Wandiga cautioned that the hot weather might result to further droughts culminating to food insecurity among other devastating agricultural impacts. Africa being the second largest dry continent, the hot weather would put a strain in the water availability.
“Already, climate change is a leading cause of food insecurity and malnutrition in the African region, with tremendous evidence showing worse impact if the heat continues. In 2017 alone, droughts left 12.8 million people in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia food insecure,” Prof Wandiga regreted.
“It is responsibility of every country to reduce GHGs especially carbon dioxide and not limited to wealthy or industrialized countries. African countries have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by all means as everybody is being affected,” he challenged.
The 2013 World Bank report dubbed: ‘Turn Down the Heat’: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience, 1.5 degrees warming in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030s. This could lead to about 40% of present maize cropping areas being no longer suitable for current cultivations, and significant negative impacts on sorghum.
The report further indicates that in less than two degrees of warming by 2050s, total crop production could be reduced by 10%. At two degrees, heat extremes could affect 15% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s land
area in the hot season causing deaths and threatening farmer’s ability to grow crops.
The Expert noted that African governments have many options to cut down on their carbon dioxide emissions including use of cleaner energies such as solar and geothermal. Others include putting up commuter rail road system to reduce the need to drive, stop deforestation and encourage planting of tress.
He encouraged use of methane as opposed to fossil fuels as it produces less carbon dioxide and financially affordable. To attract its use there should political and economic policy to change those that are unwilling to change.
“Climate change is a real threat to humanity and livelihoods, and there is need for solutions,” he emphasized.