Climate Change and Nigerian Soils: Vulnerability, Impact and Adaptation
This article reviewed the impact of climate change on our soils and suggested measures to combat or mitigate its negative effects on sustainable soil productivity. Climate change occurs when a situation in which a change in climate continues in one direction at a rapid rate and for an unusual long period of time. The article shows that Nigerian soils have high potential of susceptibility to the impact of climate change with adverse consequences. The vulnerability of our soils to impact of climate change is associated with among other things human factors, illiteracy, low level of technology applied in crop and animal production, type of soils and inadequate climate change policy and bills. Most Nigerian soils belong to the Ultisols, Alfisols, Inceptisols, Entisols, Vertisols order of the USDA Soil taxonomy and respond to climatic change differently depending on a lot of factors including their mineralogical classes. The mineralogy of Nigerian soils is dominated by low activity clays. The impacts of climatic change on soils could be positive or adverse and devastating. Some of the identified impacts are reduction in soil biodiversity, soil erosion, excessive soil wetness, high soil temperature, depletion of soil organic pool, increased soil acidity, change in soil consistence, desertification and general decrease in the overall quality of the soil for agricultural, engineering and other land uses. Based on our local condition and environment, mitigation and adaptation measures are presented in the paper for confronting climate change problems. These methods dwell on the following- management practices to be adopted by farmers, advocated government support programmes and policies and expected roles communities as well as individuals should play in reducing the negative impact of climate change on Nigerian soils. Generally, ensuring adequate cover, changing inputs and varieties and/or species of crops , making wide use of technologies in farming, creating incentive from government and reduction in deforestation and promotion of afforestation are some of the measures recommended. Research on carbon sequestration on continued basis is also recommended.
Key words: Climate change, Nigerian soils, vulnerability, adaptation.