A report published by World Weather Attribution, a group of scientists that study climate change, revealed that the heavy rains that caused flooding in Nigeria, Niger, and Chad were worsened by climate change. The report showed that climate change, directly caused by human behavior, meant that the chances of a flood taking place would be 80 times higher.
“The influence of climate change means the prolonged rain that led to the floods is no longer a rare event,” the study found. “The above-average rain over the wet season now has approximately a 1 in 10 chance of happening each year; without human activities, it would have been an extremely rare event.”
The report also showed that this year’s rainy season, in that West African region that includes Nigeria and Niger, was “20% wetter than it would have been without the influence of climate change.”
As a continent, Africa is the least responsible for carbon emissions that drive climate change. Despite that, Africa suffers the most devastating consequences of climate change such as the above example of flooding. The flooding that took place in Nigeria this year caused the deaths of approximately 600 people. Niger and Chad lost over 200 people to the floods. The floods were so devastating, close to 1.4 million people were displaced from their homes. Farmlands were also damaged, most probably worsening the food security problem in the region.
“This is a real and present problem, and it’s particularly the poorest countries that are getting hit very hard. So, it’s clear that solutions are needed,” Maarten van Aalst, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center, said. “So, we do need those solutions on loss and damage, and we need particularly to deliver in those countries where that vulnerability is highest.”
The report published by World Weather Attribution comes at a time when several countries and regions have experienced heavy rains that have caused flooding. This is one of the reasons why the meeting of nations at COP27 in Egypt took place. One of the issues discussed was how developed and industrialized countries can contribute to a fund that would assist countries vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.