Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Climate change and hunger in Africa

Africa is continent where hunger is a very common thing for many of the Africans. In a modern world we like to believe that our society has reached certain civilization standards but one look at the Africa and thousands of children that starve to death is enough to see just how civilized our society really is.

And there's also the matter of climate change. Africa is the least responsible for global warming of our planet but will nonetheless pay the highest price. The industrialized countries of the developed world played major role in emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases and Africa will sadly be first in line where climate change will show its scary face.

The latest report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says that spring rains in eastern Horn of Africa are projected to begin late this year and be substantially lower than normal. This is the area with some of the poorest countries in the world such as Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Lower amount of rainfall would have significant impacts on crop production and would lead to even bigger hunger in this area. Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are already experiencing severe food crises and with less rainfall things could get only worse.

Droughts will also lead to severe water shortages and many African countries will be in need of large funds for aid refuges and drought-affected communities.

The scientists believe that there is a direct link between the rapid warming in Indian and Pacific oceans and decreased amount of rainfall in Africa. They say that the combination of warmer air and increased humidity over the Indian and Pacific oceans produces more frequent rainfall over the oceans. The air then rises over the equatorial Indian and Pacific oceans, and goes west, towards the Africa. Once it reaches Africa the air has already lost moisture from rainfall over the oceans, which leads to decreased rain amounts in many parts of the eastern Africa.

Since the warming trend is expected to continue Africa can expect more droughts  in years to come. With droughts there comes more hunger, and with more hunger there comes more deaths.

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