Evidence of climatic change in Nigeria based on annual series of rainfall of different daily amounts, 1919–1985
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- Olaniran, O.J. Climatic Change (1991) 19: 319. doi:10.1007/BF00140169
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Annual series of light rainfall, moderate rainfall and heavy rainfall are computed for 4 zones arranged from south to north in Nigeria: Coastal, Guinea-Savanna, Midland and Sahelian zones. Daily rainfall data for the period 1919–85 are utilized. Each series is examined for evidence of change in structure in terms of pattern of decrease and increase in dry and wet years, the overall trend, and the occurrence of runs of dry and wet years. The northern Nigeria (Midland and Sahel) heavy rainfall series and the Sahel moderate rainfall series are found to depict evidence of climatic change as defined by Landsberg (1975) that climatic conditions must change to a new equilibrium position with the values of climatic elements changed significantly. On the other hand Landsberg's definition of climatic fluctuations as involving temporary deflection which can revert to earlier conditions is found to fit the 4 regional light rainfall series and the Midland area moderate rainfall series. The southern Nigeria moderate and heavy rainfall series are found to depict only evidence of high frequency oscillations about a stable long-term mean. The recent drought in Nigeria north of about 9° N is shown to be associated with a large decline in moderate and heavy rainfalls over this part of the country.