Global warming associated with increasing human induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has resulted into changes in the equilibrium state of climate over most parts of the world. Carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse effect, has increased from 315.97 ppm in 1959 to 400.83 ppm in 2015. There is strong scientific evidence of increased temperatures changes in the variability of onset and cessation of rainfall, and increased intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall and temperature events, which are associated with increased greenhouse gas concentrations.
According to IPCC (2013), global temperatures averaged over all land and ocean areas have risen by approximately 0.85 °C from 1880 to 2012. Global temperatures have continued to rise since then, with devastating impacts, with each year recording average global temperatures warmer than the long term mean (see Reports on statement of the status of global climate by WMO).
Although there are both positive and negative effects of the changes in climate, with regards to the timing, intensity and frequency, the negative effects (cost) outweigh the positive effects (benefits). Climate change has disproportionately affected the lives and livelihoods of the populations living in the poorest countries such as Africa and these impacts are expected to continue into the future if concrete measures are not put in place to mitigate climate change. The climate change group at ICPAC work to address the climate change issues over Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region.
- Understanding the observed and projected trends and changes in rainfall, temperature, extremes as well as onset/cessation of rainfall.
- Adaptation to climate change.