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Climate Change and Nigeria’s perception

By Yemi Olakitan

Many confuse weather and climate. Even in Nigerian Pidgin-English, we employ climate to describe our homes’ moods. Japanese automakers replaced hot and cold with “Climate” in your car’s temperature controls a long time ago.

Climate is the average weather pattern for 30 years or more in a location. More precisely, climate is the mean and variability of meteorological variables/indices over a period of months to millions of years.

Weather—temperature, air pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation (rain, snow, hail), and cloud cover—is the everyday state of the atmosphere.

Climate is the long-term average weather patterns, while weather fluctuates daily. Another confusing term is “Climate Change.” It is a 20th-century phrase or phenomenon that dominates our lives. Seasonal climate variations are not involved. As some climate change deniers claim, climate has always varied from hot to cold and back.

Long-term climate change affects weather and temperature. The solar cycle may cause these adjustments. Burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas has caused these alterations since the 1800s, when the Industrial Age began. Greenhouse gases from fossil fuel usage are hard to get rid of. These greenhouse gases cover the earth’s atmosphere, trapping the sun’s and other heat and warming the planet. Carbon dioxide and methane, the two most frequent greenhouse gases, are by-products of fuel oil combustion in engines, industrial ovens and heat exchangers, bush burning, landfill burning, industry and agricultural management, etc.

Earth’s average temperature has been rising for ages. According to the UN Conference on Climate Change, “Global Warming” is accelerating. After early reluctance by certain industrialised nations, the overwhelming agreement today declares that climate change is real and that global warming must be mitigated to prevent irreversible damage. Scientists expect severe destruction shortly.

Each degree of global warming worsens its effects. Let’s analyse some of the most common and severe climate change effects.

Dehydration

Due to the earth and moon’s relative locations to the sun, some areas experience droughts periodically and over generations. Late rains, low rainfall, a short rainy season, or no rain can cause these droughts. These forms will lower surface water levels, threatening agriculture, fisheries, animal grazing, and surface temperatures. California, East Africa, and our northern states exhibit this. When these drought circumstances last longer than a year, they worsen and cause further dry conditions that repeat the cycle. After famine, people and animals migrate. I’ve talked about our northern brothers’ southern migration due to desertification, drought, and the creeping Sahara for years. We neglected these issues, leading to herdsmen terrorism in Nigeria.

How?

These issues are solvable. Smart management of seasonal water flows and inland waterways, woods, meadows, trees, and grazing fields is the solution. These are achievable, not dreams. These agencies have been founded by various countries. Selling water to non-natives won’t help. Cartels, misunderstanding about generational land ownership, and more disputes will result.

Heatwave

Global warming raises the heat index of most countries, especially tropical ones. Glacial and polar ice caps are melting swiftly. Springs and groundwater are drying up.

Changes in housing construction and ventilation are necessary. Nigerian homes and companies need air-conditioning more. This increases public power demand. We know that’s a mirage in Nigeria today. At climate change conferences, we accuse the West of emitting more greenhouse gases than underdeveloped nations. In a country of 200 million people, where around 45 percent provide their own electricity and potable water services and the rest burn wood, charcoal, and oil for energy and illumination, I believe Nigeria may have overtaken certain western nations in greenhouse gas emissions due to failed social services.

How?

Our nation must govern. A failing state has citizens providing their own power, water, roads, schools, healthcare, and security. Nigeria needs a complete reorganisation. Unsustainable.

I’m realising that we’ve championed climate change but barely addressed mitigating programmes. Incompetence and corruption have deprived us of decent social services, threatening our survival. We don’t comprehend why we must do things. We don’t respect our experts’ or the international community’s requests. “Just when he remembered the answer, he forgot the question!”

Questions we should ask ourselves include:

Our identity? Want? To where? How to get there?

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