Africans feel the heat in a warming world

Climate scientists have long warned of projections that show the African continent warming faster than much of the world, and a new update from Greenpeace shows that the heat is having an outsized impact.

This month’s “Weathering the Storm: Extreme Weather and Climate Change in Africa” report finds an increase in the overall number and frequency of heatwave days, with greater impacts felt in the north, south and eastern parts of the continent.

That’s expected to continue, with much of Africa likely to exceed a 2°C rise and more likely to see a 3-6°C rise by 2100 if high emissions continue. That’s two to four times beyond the rise limited by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Over the last 50 years, we have already experienced a warming of 1.5°C, well over the world average. In the Sahel, climate change destroyed our crops, our homes and tore families apart through forced migration,” says Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Director of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT).

The rising temperatures are likely to lead to deaths and displacement, with up to 2 billion people forced to migrate globally. That’s especially true along the equator, which cuts across the continent from the West African rainforests of Gabon to Somalia in the Horn region, and it adds to the concern for some of the world’s most impoverished people. Read more…

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