People clean up a flooded home in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Tropical Storm Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana and brought flooding and wind damage along the Gulf Coast. Picture: Sean Rayford/Getty Images/AFP
People clean up a flooded home in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Tropical Storm Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in Louisiana and brought flooding and wind damage along the Gulf Coast. Picture: Sean Rayford/Getty Images/AFP

How extreme weather conditions in North America affect the African continent

By Brenda Masilela Time of article published Sep 1, 2021

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Pretoria - Hurricane Nora has caused floods and landslides along Mexico’s Pacific coast Sunday, while Hurricane Ida has brought widespread destruction in some states in the United States (US) before being downgraded to a tropical storm.

Some of these weather conditions are a result of climate change.

Over the past few years, climate change has resulted in unprecedented climate-related disasters, causing floods, heatwaves and devastating cyclones.

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In July, Al Jazeera has reported that thousands of scientists have repeated calls for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, warning that several tipping points are now imminent.

In July, floods that wreaked havoc in Western Europe were recorded as the worst natural disaster to occur in more than half a century after leaving more than 180 people dead and thousands missing.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), some parts of the continent received up to two months’ worth of rainfall in two days on soils that were already near saturation.

Human activity is the main cause of climate change, which results from burning fossil fuels and converting land from forests to agriculture. Africa is the lowest contributor to carbon emissions and yet suffers the most.

According to United Nations Climate Change, changing precipitation patterns and extreme weather are a threat to human health and safety, food and water security and socio-economic development in Africa.

“Climate change is having a growing impact on the African continent, hitting the most vulnerable hardest, and contributing to food insecurity, population displacement and stress on water resources,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

The UN said record global greenhouse gas emissions are putting the world on a path toward unacceptable warming, with serious implications for development prospects in Africa.

Climate change is already considered a threat multiplier, exacerbating existing problems, including conflicts.

Ibrahim Thiaw, special adviser of the UN Secretary-General for the Sahel, says the Sahel region is particularly vulnerable to climate change, with 300 million people affected.

African News Agency (ANA)

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