Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 477–491 | Cite as

Potential influences of global warming on future climate and extreme events in Nigeria

  • Babatunde J. AbiodunEmail author
  • Kamoru A. Lawal
  • Ayobami T. Salami
  • Abayomi A. Abatan
Original Article


This study investigates future impacts of global warming on climate and extreme climate events in Nigeria, the most populous African country that depends on rain-fed agriculture. Past and future climate simulations from 9 GCMs were downscaled (using a statistical model) and analyzed for the study. The study considers the impacts of two emission scenarios (B1 and A2) on the future climates (2046–2065 and 2081–2100) over ecological zones in Nigeria. The model evaluation shows that the downscaling adds values to the GCMs simulation, and the results capture all the important climatic features over the country. The model projections show that both B1 and A2 scenarios change the future climate over Nigeria. They significantly increase the temperature over all the ecological zones, with greatest warming (between 1 and 4 °C) over the Sudan (short grass) Savanna in March. The warming, which increases the occurrence of extreme temperature and heat wave events over the entire country, enhances the frequency of the extreme rainfall events in the south and southeast and reduces the annual rainfall over the northeast. Since heavy rains and floods are major problems in the south and southeast, and drought is major problem in the northeast, the global warming may further aggravate these environmental problems in future. These could have negative impacts on agriculture and further threaten livelihood and food security in the rapidly growing country. Hence, there is need for further studies on adaptation and mitigation strategies to address the impacts of global warming in Nigeria.


Global warming Nigeria Ecological zone Climate change 



The project was supported by grants from Build Nigerian Response to Climate Change (BNRCC) and the International Science Program (ISP, Sweden). Computing facility was provided by the Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in South Africa. We appreciate the assistance of Bruce Hewitson and Lisa Coop at Climate System and Analysis Group (CSAG) on the statistical downscaling. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Babatunde J. Abiodun
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kamoru A. Lawal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ayobami T. Salami
    • 3
  • Abayomi A. Abatan
    • 4
  1. 1.Climate System Analysis Group, Department of Environmental and Geographical ScienceUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Nigerian Meteorological AgencyLagosNigeria
  3. 3.Climate Change Unit, Institute EcologyObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  4. 4.Department Geological and Atmospheric ScienceIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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