Africa hit harder by global warming

Africa is suffering the effects of global warming more than the industrialised world despite being least to blame for the greenhouse effect.

    Temperatures have risen significantly in Africa since the start of last century

    A study by scientists at Britain's Hadley Centre has found that global warming is significantly stronger in Africa than in other continents such as Europe and America.

    The study, released on Tuesday, compared temperature rises since the beginning of the last century over six continents with predictions designed to forecast climate changes.

    The researchers found that industrial pollution, which emits the carbon dioxide that exacerbates the greenhouse effect, offers some protection against climate warming.

    But because Africa is not as industrialised as most other continents it does not produce the pollutants that can help to shield against the sun.

    Carbon dioxide pollution

    Climate researcher Peter Stott said: "While Africa is not a region that has been pumping out carbon dioxide, it's still seen a clear warming signal.

    “In the industrial countries part of the warming has been offset by cooling due to aerosols."

    Some scientists have suggested that any warming is likely to be caused by natural phenomena, such as volcanoes or changes in solar energy reaching the earth, rather than man-made emissions of carbon dioxide.

    However, Dr Stott said the latest findings support the view of those who believe global warming is the result of rising levels of carbon dioxide pollution.

    "The continental warming of the past few decades cannot be explained by natural factors such as solar changes, volcanoes or natural variability," Dr Stott said.

    "But once we factor in the effects of human activity, we find we can explain the warming of the past few decades is largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.”

    Experts say the effects of global warming can lead to unstable weather conditions and natural disasters such as flooding. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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