Climate Change and Aquatic Ecosystems in Africa: Vulnerability and Adaptations of Niger-Delta Coast to Sea Level Rise
Human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use and land cover) increase the atmospheric concentration of green house which alter the radioactive balance and tend to warm the atmosphere. Changes in green-house gases leads to regional and global change in temperature, precipitation, and other climate variable, resulting in global soil moisture, increased in global mean sea level and prospects for more severe extreme high temperature events, floods and drought. In Africa, while some countries are classified as water scarce due to successive back to back drought years having devastating effects on ground water quality, others in the coastal zones, particularly gulf of Guinea where the Niger Delta is located, could be inundated due to climate change induced sea-level rise. Both climate change scenarios, which occur in Nigeria, results in not only water quality being impacted negatively, but also threatens fisheries. The threat to aquatic ecosystems in Africa due to climate change, in general, and the vulnerability and adaptation options, in particular, is what this paper aim to address. Challenges on the path of Africa’s effort to combat climate changes, such as the Kyoto protocol (with its flexibility mechanism, joint implementation, and clean development mechanism approaches, among others) ;Social Justice and Global Coupled Circulation Models(GCMs) as it relates to climate prediction in the region, will be highlighted also for Africa’s and Nigeria’s Delta coast.