The potential future of the African continent

The Mail & Guardian Africa reports on the potential future physical state of the African continent if trends of sea level rise and desertification continue:

Desertification will greatly affect the future of Africa and is affecting communities there already.  Image credit: photoeverywhere on freeimageslive.co.uk uk

Desertification will greatly affect the future of Africa and is affecting communities there already.
Image credit: photoeverywhere on freeimageslive.co.uk uk

Africa could see climate change adaptation costs rise to $50 billion per year by 2050, even assuming international efforts keep global warming below 2°C this century, according to a recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report. That is a mind-freezing cost, but Africa can only ignore the underlying story it tells at its peril.

Within the next 1,000 years the face of the African continent is set to alter drastically through two processes – desertification and rises in sea levels.

Over the past century, the Global Mean Sea Level has risen by 10 to 20cm. If we are to crudely assume this rate will continue, even though there is evidence that due to increasing global temperatures, warmer oceans and melting ice sheets that it is accelerating, by 3015 we will see a rise of between 1-2 metres.

The effects will be devastating. Continental Africa comprises 48 countries of which 33 have coastlines and there are also seven adjacent island nations and territories. Today it is estimated that at least 25% of Africa’s population lives within 100km of a sea coast.

To read more about the changing world and what you can do to prepare, visit: www.greatwavesofchange.org

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