A spatial analysis of population dynamics and climate change in Africa: potential vulnerability hot spots emerge where precipitation declines and demographic pressures coincide
- 1.3k Downloads
We present an integrative measure of exposure and sensitivity components of vulnerability to climatic and demographic change for the African continent in order to identify “hot spots” of high potential population vulnerability. Getis-Ord Gi* spatial clustering analyses reveal statistically significant locations of spatio-temporal precipitation decline coinciding with high population density and increase. Statistically significant areas are evident, particularly across central, southern, and eastern Africa. The highly populated Lake Victoria basin emerges as a particularly salient hot spot. People located in the regions highlighted in this analysis suffer exceptionally high exposure to negative climate change impacts (as populations increase on lands with decreasing rainfall). Results may help inform further hot spot mapping and related research on demographic vulnerabilities to climate change. Results may also inform more suitable geographical targeting of policy interventions across the continent.
KeywordsClimate change Population Vulnerability Hazards Africa Spatial modeling
This work was supported through USGS cooperative agreement #G09AC000001 “Monitoring and Forecasting Climate, Water and Land Use for Food Production in the Developing World,” with funding from the NASA Applied Sciences Program, Decisions award #NN10AN26I for “A Land Data Assimilation System for Famine Early Warning,” and SERVIR award #NNH12AU22I for “A Long Time-Series Indicator of Agricultural Drought for the Greater Horn of Africa”; USAID Office of Food for Peace, award #AID-FFP-P-10-00002 for “Famine Early Warning Systems Network Support”; and the USGS Land Change Science Program. The work was also partially supported by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Climate Scene Investigators (CSI)—Transitions Program Grant: A Global Standardized Precipitation Index Supporting the US Drought Portal and the Famine Early Warning System Network. We would also like to acknowledge Jim Regetz and Alex Zvoleff for statistical and computing consultation and Shuang Yang for assisting in our hot spot analysis literature review.
- Burke, M. B., Miguel, E., Satyanath, S., Dykema, J. A., & Lobell, D. B. (2010). Climate robustly linked to African civil war. PNAS 107(51).Google Scholar
- Christensen, J. H., Hewitson, A., Busuioc, A., Chen, A., Gao, X., Held, R., Jones, R., Kolli, R. K., Kwon, W. K., & Laprise, R. (2007). Regional climate projections. In Climate change: The physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, pp 849–940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Cooper, P., Dimes, J., Rao, K., Shapiro, B., Shiferaw, B., & Twomlow, S. (2008). Coping better with current climatic variability in the rain-fed farming systems of sub-Saharan Africa: An essential first step in adapting to future climate change? Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 126, 24–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fung, F., Lopez, A., & New, M. (2011). Water availability in +2 Centigrade and +4C worlds. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 369: 1934 99–116.Google Scholar
- Funk, C., Michaelsen, J., & Marshall, M. (2012). Mapping recent decadal climate variations in precipitation and temperature across Eastern Africa and the Sahel, Chapter 14. In: Wardlow, B., Anderson, M., Verdin, J. (Eds.), Remote sensing of drought: Innovative monitoring approaches. Taylor and Francis, 25 p.Google Scholar
- Gbetibouo, G. A., & Ringler, C. (2009). Mapping South African farming sector vulnerability to climate change and variability in demographic trends and future carbon emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 107(41): 17521–17526; doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014010 (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/1/014010/fulltext/).
- Heltberg, R., & Bonch-Osmolovskiy, M. (2011). Mapping vulnerability to climate change. World Bank policy research working paper series, vol 24.Google Scholar
- Hoell, A., & Funk, C. (2013). The anomalous circulation associated with the ENSO-related west pacific sea surface temperature gradient. Climate Dynamics (in review).Google Scholar
- Knox, J., Hess, T., Daccache, A., & Wheeler, T. (2012). Climate change impacts on crop productivity in Africa and South Asia. Environmental Research Letters, 7(3).Google Scholar
- Kuriakose, A., Livia, B., & Bachofen, C. (2009). Assessing vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate risks: Methods for investigation at local and national levels. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- López-Carr, D., & Pricope, N. G., Jankowska, M. M., Funk, C., Husak, G., & Michaelson, J. (2012). Mapping population vulnerability to climate change in Africa. Proceedings of the international union for the scientific study of population (IUSSP) international seminar on population dynamics and the human dimensions of climate change. Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
- Morand, P., Kodio, A., Andrew, N., Sinaba, F., Lemoalle, J., & Béné, C. (2012). Vulnerability and adaptation of African rural populations to hydro-climate change: experience from fishing communities in the Inner Niger Delta (Mali). Climatic Change. doi: 10.1007/s10584-012-0492-7 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-012-0492-7/fulltext.html).
- Seal, A., & Vasudevan, C. (2011) Climate change and child health. Archives of disease in childhood.Google Scholar
- Shea, K. M., & The Committee on Environmental Health. (2007) Global climate change and children’s health. Pediatrics 120:e1359.Google Scholar
- Williams, P., & Funk, C. (2011). A westward extension of the warm pool leads to a westward extension of the walker circulation, drying eastern Africa. Climate Dynamics, V37.11-12, 2417–2435. http://www.springerlink.com/content/u0352236x6n868n2/fulltext.pdf.
- Yusuf, A. A., & Francisco, H. (2009). Climate change vulnerability mapping for Southeast Asia. Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), Singapore.Google Scholar