State of the Climate in Africa 2019
The State of the Climate in Africa 2019 report is a multi-agency report involving key international and continental organizations. It provides a snapshot of climate trends, observed high-impact events and associated risks and impacts in key sensitive sectors. The report draws attention to lessons from climate action on the continent, including areas for improvement. It identifies gaps in current climate policies and challenges facing policymakers in their efforts to create an effective and integrated climate policy that contributes to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. The State of the Climate in Africa 2019 is the first in the series on the continent; view the second and third reports here.
Temperatures in Africa have been rising in recent decades at a rate comparable to that of most other continents and thus somewhat faster than global mean surface temperature, which incorporates a large ocean component. The year 2019 was among the three warmest years on record for the continent.
Annual rainfall exhibited sharp geographical contrasts in 2019, with totals remarkably below long-term means in Southern Africa and west of the High Atlas Mountains and above-average rainfall recorded in other areas, in particular in Central and East Africa.
There is significant regional variability in sea-level trends around Africa. Sea-level increase reached 5 mm per year in several oceanic areas surrounding the continent and exceeded 5 mm per year in the south-western Indian Ocean from Madagascar eastward towards and beyond Mauritius. This is more than the average global sea-level rise of 3–4 mm per year.
The state of the climate in Africa in 2019, as depicted in this report, was characterized by continued warming temperatures, rising sea levels and impacts associated with extreme weather and climate events. It constitutes a snapshot within a continuum of rapidly rising longer-term climate-related risks associated with global warming. Agriculture is the backbone of Africa’s economy and accounts for the majority of livelihoods across the continent. Africa is therefore an exposure and vulnerability “hot spot” for climate variability and change impacts. Projections under Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 suggest that warming scenarios will have devastating effects on crop production and food security.