The Impact Of Climate Change On The Social Structure And Ecological Environment Of Sub-Saharan Africa
22 November 2019
Climate Change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Changes, Consequences, and Recommendations
The region of Sub-Saharan Africa is the region that lies in the south of the Sahara Desert in the region of Africa CITATION Wor19 \l 3081 (WorldBank). Due to the presence of the Sahara desert amid the region, there is a general dryness in the region and the settlements in the region are generally made around natural bodies of water and vegetation. Climate Change has hit its hardest in the region due to the excessive natural desertification and scarcity of live-sustaining resources.
Due to the recent climate problems that are affecting the world, there will be visible changes in human and natural systems of the states that comprise a region called sub-Saharan Africa. These recent Climate change forecasts point to a pattern points to a general warming trend in the average temperature of the region that includes a high increase in the general dryness of the area and change in rainfall patterns which will affect the areas of Southern Africa and Eastern Africa mostly due to their thick forests CITATION Nst19 \l 3081 (NatGeo). Due to the increase in the average temperature of the region, there would be a noticeable rise in the sea-levels of the coastal regions. This wet, hot and humid climate could also affect the yield of crops in the region. Also, a number of different infectious diseases can be expected to rise up due to the hot and humid conditions that favor the germs of these diseases and the malnutrition among the general population, especially in the regions that are heavily dependent on the rains to grow their crops to feed off the major section of the population. In addition to that, there will be extreme differences in the general temperatures of the different states of Sub-Saharan Africa, giving rise to extreme heat waves that will seriously decimate the numbers of the poor African population CITATION Dim \l 3081 (Dim Coumou).
These rising agricultural, as well as general demands for water resources in the region, would create a situation of water security. Water will be needed to sustain life in the general population, provide for irrigating the crops and other agricultural yields, and to produce energy through hydropower production. This will be needed as we can observe huge changes in the climate of the Sahelian region of Sub-Saharan Africa due to extreme evaporation losses due to a high observable change in the average temperature of the region.
Another serious problem that will face the Sub-Saharan Africans in recent years is deforestation. In the last decade alone, Africans have cleared about 52 million hectares of forest land CITATION Bre19 \l 3081 (Stirton). This decrease in forest areas in the region shows that the trials of forest departments are not at an end. Due to the current crisis, there is a weak framework of institutional forest management, which can render the policies related to forest growth inefficient, amplified by the lack of specifically skilled staff ended for the job.
In addition to several aforementioned ecological factors, there are some troublesome social ones as well. These factors are linked together in their destructive effects. Take the particular example of the agricultural trouble mentioned in the above paragraphs. As the demand for food will increase and the yield of the crops will decrease, many cities will experience a rise in mass migration from the urban areas to the rural areas. Several unplanned and informal settlements will be established. This will create a mass social problem that can have a domino effect on the region as a whole. Not only that, these newly-made settlements will experience severe hygiene and medical problems as well as other social problems such as price hikes, which is natural due to the high demand for life-sustaining commodities in these densely-populated settlements.
The weakness in governmental structures is already present in the region. Many independent militia groups have already filled the power vacuum left by the absence of state writ. With the rise of climate change, there will be a general state of panic and lawlessness among the citizens of the region of Sub-Saharan Africa CITATION Rob17 \l 3081 (Robert H. Jackson). Everyone will take up arms for the state of survival, like the wild-west in the early American days. There will mass killings in the whole region. Piracy is another social problem that may increase with rime. These days the Somalia pirates raid the ships closer to their coastlines. As there will issues of water and food security as well as scarcity of arable and livable land, everyone will take up arms and, sooner or later, the flames of restlessness and destruction will be felt by the entire developed world as Sub-Saharan Africa will practically do anything to survive.
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To conclude the argument, the impacts of climate change will be diverse and numerous across the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. The world may not take these impacts seriously due to the next to little contribution of the African states in the world economy CITATION Wor19 \l 3081 (WorldBank). Yet, it is also true that we live in a global village, so nobody will be spared in the detrimental effects that climate change will have on the Sub-Saharan Africans. Also, it is the moral duty of the developed world to take this situation seriously as they are chiefly responsible for this problem of climate change and they are still contributing the most in the greenhouse gases that have created the problem of climate change in the first place.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Dim Coumou, Bill Hare, Alexander Robinson. "Climate change impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa: from physical changes to social repercussions." Regional Environmental Change (n.d.): https://climateanalytics.org/media/ssa_final_published.pdf.
NatGeo. "Africa: Physical Geography." Encyclopedic Entry. 2019.
Robert H. Jackson, Carl G. Rosberg. "Why Africa's Weak States Persist: The Empirical and the Juridical in Statehood." World Politics (2017): 1-24.
Stirton, Brent. "Deforestation in Africa." Statistical. 2019.
WorldBank. "Sub-Saharan Africa." Statistical. 2019.
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