Scientific evidence of the world’s changing climate is unequivocal. The expected impacts of the changing climate are likely to adversely affect the well being of all countries and particularly the poorest countries, some of which are in Africa. The changing climate has been manifested in the form of: increased severity and frequency of droughts; floods and storms; water stress, coastal erosion, and higher incidence of vector borne diseases among others. The resulting declines in agricultural productivity and food security, widespread incidence of water-related diseases, particularly in tropical areas have had a telling effect on economic development. The poorest countries and communities are likely to suffer the earliest and hardest because of their geographical location, low incomes, and low institutional capacity, as well as their greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors. Addressing climate change is, therefore, central to achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction in the continent.
Climate change is a long-term shift in the climate of a specific location, region or planet. The shift is measured by changes in features associated with average weather, such as temperature, wind patterns and precipitation. Climate change can manifest itself in a number of ways, for example changes in regional and global temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, expansion and contraction of ice sheets, and sea-level variations. These regional and global climate changes are responses to external and internal forcing mechanisms.
Climate change occurs when the climate of a specific area or planet is altered between two different periods of time. This usually occurs when something changes the total amount of the sun's energy absorbed by the earth's atmosphere and surface. It also happens when something changes the amount of heat energy from the earth's surface and atmosphere that escapes to space over an extended period of time. Such changes can... [continues]
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