2021 ranked third, fourth warmest year on record for Africa

Africa’s temperature records show that 2021 was between the third and fourth warmest year ever. According to the most recent report published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The report said, Africa is experiencing a faster rate of temperature rise than the rest of the world, at a rate of about +0.3 °C per decade from 1991 to 2021.

Using a baseline facilitates tracking temperature changes over time, according to WMO. The current reference period for comparing temperature and precipitation anomalies is 1981-2010.

The report revealed that, the near-surface mean air temperature in Africa is predicted to be 0.68 °C higher than the average for the period of 1981 to 2010.

The spread between datasets is wider in 2021 than it has been in recent years, reflecting some dataset uncertainty.

Additionally, it showed that central and eastern Africa—where there aren’t enough long-term in situ (on site) measurements—has the biggest discrepancies between datasets. All datasets, however, demonstrate a significant long-term temperature rise.

“For instance, in 2021, the temperature across North Africa was 1.22 °C above the 1981-2010 average. Meanwhile, West Africa’s temperature was 0.91 °C above the 1981-2010 average.”

In both regions, 2021 was among the three warmest years on record, with the temperature increase manifesting itself in a variety of ways.

According to the report, Africa is also seeing an increase in the frequency of extremely hot days in addition to rising average annual temperatures.

East Africa experienced drier-than-average conditions due to the La Niña conditions and negative IOD values.

Failure of the yearly Gu rains (April–May–June) and Deyr rains (October–November–December) caused an exceptional multi-seasonal drought in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

Much of northern and eastern Africa, including Nigeria, southwestern Cameroon, central Chad, and southern DRC, eastern Angola, northern Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, central Mozambique, and remote areas along the coasts of South Africa and Madagascar, experienced drier than usual conditions.

On the other hand, areas of Burundi, western Tanzania, western Angola, much of Namibia, southeastern Botswana, portions of South Africa, northern and southern Mozambique, southern Chad, and much of the Democratic Republic of the Congo experienced above-average precipitation.

The 51-paged report on the State of the Climate in Africa 2021 is the collaboration between the African Union Commission (AUC), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and other specialized agencies of the United Nations.

The report also stated that, climate change has had profound consequences for glaciers hosted by Mount Kenya Massif (Kenya), the Rwenzori Mountains (Uganda) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) adding that, since 1880, the African glaciers have been shrinking to less than 20% of their late 19th-century extent.

This multi-agency effort offers thorough climate analysis, pinpoints noteworthy hydro-meteorological occurrences, impacts, and risks, and suggests climate actions to increase the resilience of African countries.

The third report in the series, from 2021, places a particular focus on water resources, a crucial area for the wellbeing of people and ecosystems as well as for the sustained socio-economic growth of Africa.

Related Posts