Climate change in Africa is manifest in rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, and changes in rainfall patterns leading to floods or severe droughts. Since 1970, Africa has experienced more than 2,000 natural disasters, with just under half taking place in the last decade. Africa also contains 7 out of the 10 countries that are considered the most threatened by climate change globally, according to the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution. The extreme weather events are also taking a toll on African cities—which are growing rapidly—and is threatening the livelihoods of millions of people across the continent.
Global warming is a critical problem facing the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan. With its location on the coast of the Atlantic, experts have long warned that the city could be flooded over several decades from now. The Intergovernmental panel on climate change has also reported high erosion rates in the areas off the Abidjan harbor. The loss of mangrove forests has also increased the vulnerability of coastal areas to damages from coastal storm surges. As the world’s top cocoa grower, heavy rains are threatening the mid-crop marketing season on one end, while farmers in other parts of the country are reporting patchy rainfalls and sunny spells.