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Low Adaptive Capacity in Africa and Climate Change Crises

Victor Adjei, Elijah Foh Amaning

Abstract: The changing climate is unequivocal, and it is generally recognised as a threat to the terrestrial environment due to its cross-sectoral and irreversible impacts. Since the inception of industrial revolution (1750), the concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) in the atmosphere has been compromised. Until the past two centuries, the quantity of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere had never surpassed about 280 part per million (ppm) and 790 part per billion (ppb), respectively. Rise in greenhouse gases (GHGs) has impacted almost every biotic component on the surface of the earth, and regions which have low adaptive capacity and greatly depend on agriculture and biodiversity for livelihood are hard hit. This phenomenon has resulted in global warming, extinction of some fora and fauna species, precipitation variability, extreme weather conditions, migration of biotic creatures from one geographical area to another, melting of icecap, sea level rise, coral breach and so on during the last century. The contribution of emission of greenhouse gases of Africa is insignificant, however, the repercussion of the changing climate is crucial in the region due to the presence of other stressors such as poverty, corruption, diseases, geographical position of the continent, low adaptive capacity, rain-fed agriculture etc., and this has led to conflict over resources usage, food insecurity, forced migration, ill-health and many more.
Keywords: Africa / changing climate / livelihood / adaptive capacity / low adaptive / greenhouse gases / dioxide / methane

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