Thursday, October 7, 2010

Climate Change in Africa

Climatic changes on the African continent are threatening the valuable agricultural and tourism industries. These 2 areas make up a large part of Kenya's income. A report suggests that tourism in Africa, which makes up for three per cent of the world's tourism, may change with climate change.

The report says increased warming will induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century. The threat of flood risks and water pollution-related diseases in low lying regions and coral reef bleaching due to climate change could impact negatively on tourism. Mozambique is growing as a tourist destination, however in 2000 it was in the world news due to massive floods which took the lives of hundreds of people, these floods have occurred again in early 2007, deterring tourist from the beautiful country.

Africa is home to the best Safari parks in the world, including the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and the Kruger National Park in South Africa, but due to global warming and climate change it is expected that about 10% of the species current populations are projected to decline in coming years

By 2080 it is estimated that areas of arid and semi arid land in Africa are likely to increase by 5 - 8 %. Crop revenue in Africa could fall by up to 90 per cent by 2100, and wheat production - one of Africa's greatest sources of income - in Africa might disappear altogether by the 2080.

If sea level was to rise by only 1 meter, the coastal areas of Kenya would loss massive areas which three main crops grow in the country, namely mangoes, cashew nuts, and coconuts, loss of these crops could cost the country almost US$500 million. If sea levels do rise it is feared that costal agriculture could be at risk of inundation and soil salination.

Climate change will also affect human health in Africa. Malaria distribution has already increased in the past decade and is expected to continue to move into these previously cooler areas, it is estimated that by the 2080s an additional 80 million people will likely be at risk of malaria.

Areas of Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi which have not previously had malaria could also experience changes which will allow malaria carrying mosquitoes to thrive there by the 2050s.

Humans' ability to recover from disease and illness could also be affected by climate change in Africa. Many countries are already suffering from massive HIV / Aids pandemics, and with changes in moisture and temperature in the continent diseases could become harder to fight.

More about Climate change in Africa

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