After decades of scepticism about global warming and its after effects, the world has come face-to-face with the realities of that danger.
With reports of extreme floods in Kenya, Canada, Indonesia and Southern Africa, the world has been jolted with the stark reality that it is headed toward something worse if urgent steps are not taken.
Also manifest are increased cases of drought in the Sahelian region of Africa and the now common incidence of hurricanes in the U.S.
In central Nigeria, excessive warming is being blamed for the consistent violence between nomadic cattle herders and farmers.
The duo have been locked in battle for the scarce green areas as the desert creeps southwards.
Similarly, deforestation, dwindling water supplies and rising sea levels are already sparking mass migrations, provoking ethnic conflicts.
UN reports on climate change indicate that humanity may have to brace for more challenges as they predict a rise in temperature by 1.4 degrees Celsius to 5.8 degrees Celsius by 2010 in Africa.
“Regions that are already least secure in food production, like sub-Saharan Africa, stand to be the worst victims of global warming as wet areas become wetter and dry areas become drier,” says a recent global report on climate change.
Speaking on the issue, Ms Jennifer Morgan, the Director, Global Climate Change Programme at the WWF, describes Africa as the ‘’most vulnerable continent to climate change”.
Pointing to its ‘’extreme poverty’’, she says that the continent will find it increasingly difficult to cope as desertification is threatening to drive millions of Africans from their homes.
Morgan says that her comments are drawn from a recent international report on the work of 1,360 scientists in 95 nations.
She particularly cites an instance in Uganda where researchers and the government found that the climate has become hotter.
‘’It also found that the rains were becoming even more erratic in the last decade, posing a threat to its key coffee crop.’’