Climate variation based on temperature and solar radiation data over a 29 year period in Lilongwe City, Malawi
Economies that mainly depend on agriculture are to a large extent being negatively impacted by climate change. In this study, temperature and solar radiation data from Chitedze Weather Station, Lilongwe City, Malawi for a 29-year period (1985 to 2013) were assessed for the possibility of climate variation. In addition, the concentration of carbon dioxide over Malawi within the same period as temperature and solar radiation data was assessed for inferences. The highest mean minimum temperature (15.7°C) was recorded in 2010. The highest mean maximum temperature (27.9°C) and solar radiation (21.5 MJm-2day-1) were recorded in 2005. The mean minimum temperature showed an increasing pattern but both mean maximum temperature and solar radiation data showed a lot of variation. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) among mean minimum and maximum temperature and solar radiation. The carbon dioxide concentration over Malawi has been increasing over the years which is one of the contributors to rising mean minimum temperatures.
Key words: Climate variation, solar radiation, temperature, weather.