Climatic information as evidence of desertification processes in northern Yobe State, Nigeria: Implications for agriculture and ecosystem
This study was formulated to investigate the potential contribution of climatic parameters to desertification processes in northern Yobe State, Nigeria. Rainfall and temperature data for 43 years were obtained from the Nigeria Meteorological (NiMet) office Maiduguri and subjected to statistical and agro-climatological analysis. Results indicate that the study area has characteristics of a typical semi-arid environment with annual rainfall and temperature totals of 432.3mm and 340C respectively. These parameters are highly variable over the year with considerable biological impact and may well show how the area’s ecosystem will experience and respond to future climate change. Trend analysis further confirmed that these variables fluctuate greatly. A shift in rainfall pattern in recent years was observed with high intensity recorded in July as against August previously. There has been a gradual delay in onset and early cessation of rains in the area. Hydrologic ratio of 0.255 further demonstrates an arid condition of the region with a seasonality index of 1.18, meaning that rain falls within just 3 months in the area. The index of replicability and quantity of water needed (Specific Water Consumption) to avert drought shows that the area is getting drier. All of these point to the presence of desertification processes in the region. Desertification mitigation measures such as massive tree planting campaign need to be put in place to avert negative consequences of the phenomenon.
Keywords: Agro-climatology, Desertification, Rainfall, Temperature, Yobe.