Global Journal of Environmental Sciences

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An analysis of rainfall patterns in Nigeria

Peter AO Odjugo


The paper is designed to study the rainfall patterns and its implications in Nigeria. Rainfall data from 28 stations for the period of 1970 – 2002 were collected from the Nigeria Meteorological Station, Lagos. While the vegetation map of Nigeria between 1973 and 1995 forms the basis of biodiversity change analysis. The results among others show that rainfall decreases from 1350 mm (1941–1970) to 1276 mm (1970–2002). While there is a general decrease in rainfall in Nigeria, the coastal area is experiencing slight increase. Apart from the general southward shift in rainfall patterns, the duration has also reduced from 80-360 (1941-1970) to 40-280 (1970-2002) rainy days per year. This has created ecological destabilisation and altered the pattern of the vegetation belt especially in the northern fringes of the country. The rainfall pattern has also enhanced wind erosion/desertification, soil erosion and coastal flooding in the north, east and coastal areas of Nigeria respectively. With these impacts, the paper therefore recommends some adaptive and mitigation measures that could help to revert the current situation.

Keywords: changing climate, vegetation belts, rainfall pattern and shift

Global Journal of Environmental Sciences Vol. 4(2) 2005: 139-145
AJOL African Journals Online