Africa’s glaciers to soften, millions of poor face drought, floods, UN says

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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Africa’s fabled japanese glaciers will vanish in twenty years, 118 million poor individuals face immanent drought, floods or excessive warmth, and local weather change may additionally shave 3% off continental GDP by mid-century, the U.N. local weather company warned on Tuesday.

The newest report on the state of Africa’s local weather by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), partnered with African Union businesses, paints a dire image of the continent’s means to adapt to more and more frequent climate disasters.

According to one knowledge set, 2020 was Africa’s third warmest 12 months on file, 0.86 levels Celsius above the common temperature within the three many years main to 2010. It has largely warmed slower than high-latitude temperate zones, however the impression continues to be devastating.

“The rapid shrinking of the last remaining glaciers in eastern Africa, which are expected to melt entirely in the near future, signals the threat of … irreversible change to the Earth system,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas stated in a foreword to the report.

It forecast that on present charges all three of Africa’s tropical ice fields – Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s Mount Kenya, and Uganda’s Rwenzoris – can be passed by the 2040s.

In addition, “By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people (living on less than $1.90 per day) will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat … if adequate response measures are not put in place,” the African Union’s Agriculture Commissioner Josefa Sacko stated.

Africa, which accounts for lower than 4% of greenhouse gasoline emissions, has lengthy been anticipated to be severely impacted by local weather change. Its croplands are already drought-prone, many of its main cities hug the coast, and widespread poverty makes it tougher for individuals to adapt.

Apart from worsening drought on a continent closely reliant on agriculture, there was intensive flooding recorded in East and West Africa in 2020, the report famous, whereas a locust infestation of historic proportions, which started a 12 months earlier, continued to wreak havoc.

The report estimated that sub-Saharan Africa would wish to spend $30-$50 billion, or 2-3% of GDP, every year on adaptation to avert even worse penalties.

An estimated 1.2 million individuals had been displaced by storms and floods in 2020, almost two and half occasions as many individuals as fled their houses as a result of of battle in the identical 12 months.

Reporting by Tim Cocks; Editing by Aurora Ellis

 A vehicle drives past Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania's Hie district, file.  REUTERS/Katrina Manson

Mount Kenya is seen from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia national park, Kenya, May 22 , 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

 A vehicle drives past Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania's Hie district, file.  REUTERS/Katrina Manson